Photo credit: The Captain's Blog

Happy Holidays from the Yankees! (and Tuesday Links)

There may not be a C.J. Wilson or a Yu Darvish waiting under our collective Yankees Christmas tree this year, but the Yankees would like to wish us fans happy holidays anyway.

  • Speaking of Darvish, Andrew Marchand reported earlier today that the Yankees’ bid for him was $20 million. I won’t lie – when I first read this I literally laughed out loud. I mean, $20M? When the winning bid was nearly $52M and everyone knew that Darvish was likely definitely going to draw more than the $51M the Red Sox bid for Daisuke Matsuzaka? I’m not surprised by the bid because of Cashman’s comments throughout this winter that the Yankees are set to be patient and are unwilling to overspend on hyped-up free agents, but the bid was still humorous to me. It’s almost as if the Yankees brass decided at the last minute “Well, we don’t really want to pay for this guy… but what if no one else really wants to pay for him either? Let’s just throw out a $20M bid for due diligence and if we somehow end up with him it will be one hell of a joke on the rest of the league!”
  • Apparently several teams are “kicking the tires” on A.J. Burnett, but as River Avenue Blues notes, the Yankees are going to have to eat quite a bit of his contract if they can even convince another team to come to the trade table. So taking a look at the 2012 rotation (CC, Garcia, Nova, Burnett, and … Hughes??) the question is essentially whether the Yankees should pay another team to take Burnett whether you continue to slot him into the rotation to eat up innings. On one hand, the Yankees could possibly save some money if they replace Burnett with a much cheaper option, even if they are still paying a good chunk of A.J.’s salary. On the other hand, the Yankees have so far failed to find a #2 starter this winter and the question of who will fill out the rotation won’t be decided until Spring Training, so do the Yankees really want to have to fill Burnett’s spot in the rotation too? My guess is no, and any teams who have cheaper options that would be more productive in the rotation than Burnett aren’t going to be willing to deal them to the Yankees anyway.
  • The great Phil Hughes/Ivan Nova debate has begun and Marchand believes that Nova is the stronger option of the two. I agree (the kid is cool as a cucumber – did you see any of his interviews at the end of last season?), but I think ultimately both guys will end up in the 2012 rotation. At least in the absence of the Yankees acquiring a no-doubt #2 starter. Of course, I have no problem with them going into Spring Training with a dueling mindset, because if both these guys perform to the levels we know they are capable of, it’s going to mean very good things for the Yankees.

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