The New York Yankees officially kick off their offseason today after an early postseason exit on Tuesday night. Yankees GM Brian Cashman admitted the team isn't quite "good enough right now," reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Though, between Alex Rodriguez's logic-defying home run total and Mark Teixeira's pre-injury numbers, the Yankees fared far better than most expected.
So what will the team shop for this winter? Heyman reckons that adding a top-of-the-rotation starter is the first priority. Cashman refrained from dropping any names, but Heyman suspects David Price, Zack Greinke and Johnny Cueto are the likely players of interest. If Cashman is looking for an immediate impact pitcher, those three will be the best available candidates on the free-agent market this offseason.
Jim Bowden of ESPN.com agrees that the Yankees need to add a No. 1 or No. 2 starter, but he lists that behind the need for a right-handed power bat. Bowden writes that possible targets include Justin Upton, Yoenis Cespedes, Ryan Braun and J.D. Martinez. However, a move for such an impact player will probably be paired with a trade of Brett Gardner. Jacoby Ellsbury is another option, but the Yankees would have to eat most of his hefty contract to convince a team to take him on. Bowden also suggested Carlos Beltran, but at 39, he probably doesn't have more than a year left in him. Of the three, Gardner should attract the most interest.
While we wait for the Yankees to sort out their options this winter, here's a look at the other buzz making its way around the majors today:
San Francisco Giants: After weekend reports surfaced that the Giants had reached an agreement with Cuban center fielder Eddy Julio Martinez, MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez writes that Martinez seeks a bonus "closer to $3 million" and will remain a free agent. Martinez, 20, was highly touted in free-agent talks earlier this summer. It was initially believed that he would receive a signing bonus in excess of $10 million from the Giants. The reported agreement would have included a $2.5 million signing bonus. It's worth noting that while Giants GM Bobby Evans confirmed an agreement with Martinez, the team never formally announced the signing. Fangraphs' Kiley McDaniel explained on Tuesday the reasons for his falling stock. McDaniel suspected that, as often happens, Martinez's agent (since fired) rode scouting momentum and wanted more from teams that offered as much as $7 million earlier this summer. After teams tired and moved on, Martinez and his camp have been offered considerably less. Now that there is no longer a deal between Martinez and the Giants, who might make a move for him? The Dodgers, Cubs, Astros, Reds and Rangers all show rumored interest.
Milwaukee Brewers: Earlier today, the Brewers claimed right-hander Junior Guerra off waivers from the Chicago White Sox. The move marks David Stearns' first acquisition as the Brewers' new general manager. Despite never having pitched above the High-A level prior to this year, Guerra, 30, earned his first MLB call-up in Chicago this season. In his four big league innings, Guerra averaged a 94.1 mph fastball. In order to clear roster space for Guerra, the Brewers designated 31-year-old catcher Nevin Ashley for assignment.
Boston Red Sox: Interim manager Torey Lovullo told the Boston Herald's Scott Lauber that the Red Sox are asking Hanley Ramirez to lose 15 to 20 pounds this offseason. Ramirez is attempting to transition to first base, to which Lovullo said, "To be an infielder, you have to be a little more agile." Ramirez is officially listed at 225 pounds, but Lauber noted that he reported to spring training at 240. "We’re not picking on Hanley as an organization," Lovullo said. "These are all very common conversations we have with guys. We set up goals for what you need to look like when you come to spring training."