The hot stove chatter around the free agent pitching market is starting to heat up, in some cases to the point where I need a flow chart just to keep track of which teams are talking to which players. One of these players happens to be Mark Buehrle, whom I covet for the Yankees rotation and whom MLBTR reported is currently being pursued by 13 teams. Of course, it is difficult to say how serious any of these teams are in landing Buehrle. For instance, any time the Yankees and Red Sox “show interest” in a player that the other has inquired about, you have to question whether their interest is legit or if it is just standard gamesmanship to drive up the price your competitor has to pay. Regardless, it is looking less and less likely that Buehrle will be a Yankee once the dust has settled this winter.
Andrew Marchand of ESPN NY took to his Twitter account today to say the following:
Biggest splash Yankees could probably make is Yu Darvish. At one point, I thought Buehrle, but now I’d be surprised if he were a Yankee.
This is interesting, especially in light of the poll we have had running on our YGY homepage. Granted, the sample size is small, but 62% of voters said that Yu Darvish is the starter they most want the Yankees to acquire this offseason. 38% voted for Buehrle, and C.J. Wilson, Hiroki Kuroda, and Edwin Jackson each failed to receive a single vote. The general consensus I’ve heard from fans on Wilson is that he is likely to be overpaid and they don’t want the Yankees to be the team that is saddled with his huge contract. I happen to fall into this camp, and Marchand seems to think that Wilson’s price tag will make the Yankees back down from any serious pursuit of him:
If Wilson’s price were to be dramatically lower than expected, Yanks could get involved. Otherwise, there is almost no chance.
So there it is – as of today it looks highly unlikely that either Wilson or Buehrle will be in the Yankees rotation next season. Of course, next week we could be singing a different tune because such is the nature of MLB’s off-season negotiations. While it is still too soon to say where Darvish will land, it looks as though the 62% of voters wanting to see him in the Bronx have a better chance of realizing their hopes than those in the Wilson and Buehrle camps.