Via George King –
While the Red Sox prepare to face the Cardinals in the World Series the Yankees will hold organizational meetings this week intended to lay a floor plan for filling many needs so they don’t spend a second straight October watching the postseason.
Hal and Hank Steinbrenner and executive vice president Felix Lopez will be joined in Tampa by, among others, club president Randy Levine and general manager Brian Cashman.
A recent meeting of the Yankees’ pro scouting department included discussions of free agents and potential trade candidates.
Among the free agents on the Yankees’ radar are Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka, Reds outfielder Sin-Soo Choo, Braves left-hander Paul Maholm, Braves catcher Brian McCann and Red Sox shortstop Stephen Drew.
Of that group, the Yankees have targeted Tanaka as a priority. The posting process can’t begin until after Nov. 1. Though Tanaka, considered the best pitcher in Japan, could command a contract in the neighborhood of $60 million for five years, the posting fee — which will likely cost upwards of $60 million — does not count against the salary cap.
Clouding the issue of what the Yankees can do in the free-agent market is what Robinson Cano will do and how long will Alex Rodriguez be suspended.
Until the Yankees learn those answers, they won’t know how much money they have to spend as they attempt to keep next year’s payroll under the $189 million luxury-tax threshold.
Cano has asked for a 10-year, $310 million deal, something the Yankees aren’t interested in. Rodriguez is facing a 211-game suspension for being involved in the Biogenesis scandal. He is currently appealing and the hearing won’t be concluded until at least late-November. A final ruling could take another 25 days.
The Yankees are expected to offer free-agent Curtis Granderson a $14.1 million qualifying offer. If he accepts it, that could start the process of looking for a team to take Ichiro Suzuki out of The Bronx because retaining Granderson would give the Yankees an outfield of Alfonso Soriano, Brett Gardner and Granderson.
Even if Granderson leaves, that doesn’t mean Suzuki stays. The Yankees could sign Choo, which would make Suzuki expendable.
Sin-Soo Choo, Brian McCann and Stephen Drew? Really? I guess the farm system really is that bad…if they need to go out and get an outfielder, catcher and shortstop. But, what else is new? This has been the Cashman M.O. for years – screw up player development and trades and then just go out and buy hitters.