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Early Yankees Notes From GM Winter Meetings

Carlos Beltran (USA Today Sports)

Carlos Beltran (USA Today Sports)


Major League Baseball General Managers are gathered this week for Winter Meetings. Tuesday also marked the first day free agents can sign with any ball club. Yankees GM Brian Cashman was busy early and plenty of rumors continue to swirl around the team’s decisions as he attempts to round out the roster for 2017.

Cashman and the Yankees wasted no time and have made it clear their top target is a reunion with closer Aroldis Chapman. The fireballer just won a World Series Championship with the Chicago Cubs who the Yankees traded him to prior to the trade deadline. At the time of the trade, it was immediately thought the Yankees would look to re-sign Chapman once he became a free agent. Cashman began reaching out to agents of free agent players, and Chapman was one of the first.

In addition to Chapman, the Yankees have also been in contact with agents of closers Mark Melancon and Kenley Jansen. All three closer will likely demand large contracts with Champan possibly headed toward a record setting payday.

There are rumors swirling the Yankees are interested in another reunion and possibly signing OF/DH Carlos Beltran to be the team’s full time designated hitter. For this to happen, the Yankees would most likely need to plan on trading Brian McCann who has lost his starting catcher spot to Rookie of the Year finalist, Gary Sanchez. The Yankees traded Beltran to the Texas Rangers prior to the trade deadline. Reports today have the Boston Red Sox also very interested in Beltran as a way to fill their open DH spot with the retirement of David Ortiz.

The Yankees have also been linked to DH Kendrys Morales Expect the Yankees to at some point be linked to many of the free agent names.

Cashman stated the team has three locks for the starting rotation entering the 2017 season; Masahiro Tanaka, CC Sabathia, and Michael Pineda. After that, it will be a full fledge battle for the final two spots between Luis Severino, Adam Warren, Chad Green, Bryan Mitchell, and Luis Cessa. The Yankees will likely attempt to add another pitcher or two, but the free agent stock is lacking to say the least. Rich Hill, although 37 years old, may be the best available on the market. Since Hill made the move from the bullpen to a starting pitcher, he has gone a combined 14-6 with a 2.00 ERA in 24 starts and a 10.7 K/9 over the last two years.

The Yankees may need to get creative this offseason. If the free agent market does not produce the help Cashman is looking for, they may need to work deal with other teams. McCann is an obvious candidate to be traded, and outfielder Brett Gardner has heard the rumors for a couple years now. Cashman’s comments this week sound like he would listen on just about anyone, with the exception of Gary Sanchez.


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