Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Yankees unsurprisingly quiet at start of Winter Meetings

As the New York Yankees headed to Nashville, Tennessee, they proclaimed to be invested in speaking with other teams about trades, but lay on the periphery of the free agent market. The club has been vocal about their roster – and budget – being filled, making the first day of quiet around the club unsurprising.

Rumors of Brett Gardner and/or Andrew Miller being on the move have begun to subside. It seems that Gardner’s value is not as high as it has been in the past, while Miller’s value might be better on the club versus off it. The Yankees will continue to listen on all players, but expecting them to make a big trade seems less likely if one of those two players is not involved. The club has often professed they do not have an interest in trading their top prospects, especially those close to helping on the major league level.

An uninspiring free agent rumor

The Yankees, while not expected to be big spenders, are still going to be part of rumors. It’s more fun if the Yankees’ money is involved in the free agent market, so the club will be linked to several players. Monday, brought a rumor from FOX Sports' Jon Paul Morosi about Asdrubal Cabrera as a potential fit at second base.

Cabrera, a 30-year-old switch hitter prefers to play shortstop, but would be willing to play second base. My issue with Cabrera is about wasting two to three years with an aging player, who does not present a significant upgrade over the possible platoon option of Dustin Ackley and Rob Refsnyder. This is an boring and unnecessary add in my opinion. The Yanks can obtain depth at a much better price.

From the “trade that will never happen” rumor mill

The Yankees reportedly called the Miami Marlins about starting pitcher Jose Fernandez. It would take well more than a proposed Miller-led deal seen here, but later in the day the Marlins publically stated that Fernandez was not on the trading block. At least for now.

Will Yankees finally ink Cliff Lee?

This one is speculative at best, and there is nothing out there suggesting this will go anywhere. The Yankees have forever been interested in Lee, having turned down a trade for him years ago when he was a top of the line starter. Lee, who has not pitched since 2014 due to a flexor tendon tear of which he rehabbed, is looking for a one-year MLB contract. No fewer than 15 teams have deemed to have interest in him. Could the Yankees be among them?

The short answer is maybe. Lee does want to sign with a winner. At 37 years old, winning is important to Lee and guaranteed cash doesn’t hurt, both things the Yankees can provide. I believe the Yankees would have been much more interested if Lee could be obtained on a minor league deal with an invite to spring training, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

Adding Lee creates a log jam in the rotation, and by all accounts the Yanks are looking to do that only if they can find a young, controllable starter with some upside. Lee is not that, and has injury baggage, so I wouldn’t expect this happening.

We’ll see what Tuesday brings, but don’t expect much excitement from the Yankees. Of course, as I write that watch the Yanks surprise everyone with a big deal.

Christopher Carelli is a freelance baseball writer. Besides his work here, Christopher is a featured Yankees writer for His baseball commentary has also been published on The Cauldron via Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports and linked multiple times on MLB Trade Rumors’ Baseball Blogs Weigh In. He is a member of the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America, the Baseball Bloggers Alliance and the BYB Hub.