Yankees News and Rumors: Day One of Winter Meetings


The biggest news for the New York Yankees coming out of the first day of the Winter Meetings was unfortunately not about a new player being signed, but rather about another position that needs filling. Alex Rodriguez will undergo multiple procedures to repair a tear in his left labrum, fix a bone impingement and remove a cyst in January. The recovery timetable is anywhere from four to six months, making a return in June the worst case scenario.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman took plenty of time out of his day yesterday to explain the Yankees thought process on handling the injury and what their intentions are for bridging the gap. Here are some quotes from Cashman courtesy of MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch.

Indecision looms:

"“Alex is expected back — that’s the good thing,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said. “The bad thing is, obviously, we don’t have him for a period of time, so what are we going to do about that? It remains to be seen.”"

Been there, done that:

"“I’m not going to try to blow it off,” Cashman said. “It’s a significant blow. But we’ve dealt with significant blows, and hopefully, we’ll be able to deal with this one as well.”"

Is A-Rod still the third baseman?

"“We will wait for Alex,” Cashman said. “We will cushion the blow. We will shore up every aspect that we possibly can.”"

First course of business?

"“I can’t tell you what our Opening Day situation is going to be there yet, but we have some more time to deal with that,” Cashman said. “It’s not an easy position to fill. We’re going to get Alex back at some point, but other teams don’t have a third baseman. The choices aren’t pretty.”"

New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman answers questions from the media during the Major League Baseball winter meetings at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel. (image: Don McPeak-USA Today Sports)

No, the choices are not pretty and they force the Yankees into a situation that they may need to get used to concerning Rodriguez. The notion that he can continue to be their everyday third baseman is waning, but as Cashman noted there are not a lot of solid options out there. Plus, the Yankees are tentative about taking on 2014 salary which limits their options.

The Yankees were of course then linked to virtually everyone who has played third base; Kevin Youkilis, Chase Headley, Marco Scutaro, Jeff Keppinger and Chris Nelson to name a few. Eric Chavez remains an option to take on some of the load, but he is not looked at as an everyday player so a complementary move would be necessary. Basically, the more versatile a player the Yankees are able to find, the better since Headley, by far the best name of the group, is still being kept off the trade market by the San Diego Padres.

This didn’t kill speculation of Headley in the Bronx, as a FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi gave his impression of what it would take from the Yankees to land the third baseman. He stated that a package centering around Phil Hughes or David Phelps could get talks going as the Padres need starting pitching.

Outfield Rumors

  • The Yankees reportedly asked for medical records for outfielder Cody Ross. Ross, 31, hit 22 home runs and drove in 81 for the Boston Red Sox last season posting a .267/.326/.481 slash line.
  • Scott Hairston is still on the Yankees radar, but it is possible that he is looking for a two-year deal worth $10 million according to a tweet from New York Post columnist Joel Sherman.

Other Bits

  • Mike Napoli signed with the Red Sox for three-years/$39 million — the Yankees were never in on Napoli and the money and years were the reason.
  • Jim Bowden from ESPN tweets the Yankees should still be looked at as a landing spot for Josh Hamilton.
  • Eli Whiteside, who was designated for assignment last week, was claimed off waivers by the Toronto Blue Jays.
  • The Yankees checked in on Miami Marlins shortstop Yunel Escobar.