Yankees Rumors: Fact or Fiction on All the Hottest Rumors in the Bronx, Part 2
On Monday, baseball's annual Winter Meetings will kick off in Nashville.
Those meetings tend to be a magnet of hot stove rumors considering most of baseball's general managers are all under one roof discussing all sorts of proposals and deals.
Yankees GM Brian Cashman will get to Nashville on Monday, and it's tough to tell if he'll be active or not at the meetings.
During last years meetings, Cashman met with C.J. Wilson and his agent, but he was only doing his due diligence, as Wilson ended up signing later on with the Los Angeles Angels.
The Yankees GM has already wrapped up three key players for 2013: Hiroki Kuroda, Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera.
So now, with their pitching staff taken care of, where does Cashman go from here?
Two weeks ago, I did the first segment of "Fact or Fiction" with all of the latest Yankees rumors
In this latest slideshow, we will now do the second part of all of the latest rumors surrounding the Yankees as we get set to kick off the Winter Meetings.
Fact or Fiction: The Yankees Aren't Interested in Mike Napoli or A.J. Pierzynski
On Friday, it was announced that Yankees catcher Russell Martin had decided to leave the Bronx and sign a two-year, $17 million deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
What I found interesting was that the Yankees had not even made an offer to Martin, and I guess Brian Cashman was all right with letting Martin walk.
So now, what do the Yankees do to fill the catcher position?
Some of you have wondered if they will look into Mike Napoli or A.J. Pierzynski, the two top remaining free agent catchers on the market, but according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, that is not likely going to happen.
#Yankees don't sound terribly interested in Napoli or Pierzynski. Current catchers: Stewart, Cervelli, Romine.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 30, 2012
Well, so much for Napoli, who a lot of us had talked about last month as a potential "Plan B" if Martin did, in fact, leave New York.
I was never really crazy on Pierzynski in the Bronx, who would be 36 when the 2013 season started.
Fact or Fiction: The Yankees Are Interested in Giancarlo Stanton
Two weeks ago, I wrote a story on a potential trade offer that the Yankees could make to Miami in hopes of landing Stanton.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe confirmed that the Yankees were one of several teams interested in the very last superstar the Marlins have on their team.
However, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports and WFAN reported that the Marlins have no intentions of trading Stanton this winter.
With a vacancy in right field, Stanton would make sense for the Yankees, but he would cost the team a ton of prospects.
I think if the Yankees want Stanton in the future, they will need to wait until his salary goes up and wait for the Marlins to try and deal him so they won't have to pay him.
So for now, I think we put this one in the fantasy column.
Fact or Fiction: Ichiro Suzuki's Patience Is Running out with the Yankees
If Brian Cashman really wants to bring Ichiro Suzuki back for 2013, he might want to move quickly.
George King of the New York Post reported that the Japanese superstar outfielder is getting tired of waiting on the Yankees and is now talking to other teams.
“I’m really not in position to comment, but our focus was first on pitching and see the amount of dollars we needed to secure pitching,’’ Cashman said. “Now we’ll focus on players who want to talk to us.’’
That could be an indication the Yankees are likely to attack right field through free agency, because the trade market doesn’t present many matches appealing to the Yankees attempt’ at getting the 2014 payroll to $189 million.
The "players who want to talk to us" comment is what struck me from that quote. Does that mean Cashman is passing on Ichiro to pursue a different option in right field?
Ichiro had a solid second half with the Yankees and he will draw interest on the open market, so there's a good chance that the Yankees could not only let Nick Swisher walk as a free agent, but also lose their other right field option from 2012 as well.
When the offseason started, I was almost 100 percent sure Ichiro was going to come back. Now, I'd say it's 50-50.
Fact or Fiction: The Yankees Have Nate Schierholtz on Their Radar
Nate Schierholtz was recently non-tendered by the Philadelphia Phillies and teams have already been calling on him.
According to Buster Olney of ESPN, the Yankees are one of nine teams interested in the outfielder.
Nine teams called on Nate Schierholtz within the first 12 hours after he was non-tendered. NYY, looking for a right fielder, are in the mix.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) December 2, 2012
Schierholtz hit .257 with six home runs and 21 RBI in 114 games with the Giants and Phillies in 2012.
I don't know if I can see Schierholtz as the Yankees starting right fielder, but as their fourth outfielder, that would make sense.
Brian Cashman likes to make these kind of under-the-radar type moves, but it depends on how much interest the other eight teams have in him.
Fact or Fiction: The Yankees Are Interested in Shane Victorino
One of the top names on the free agent market in center field is former Phillies and Dodgers outfielder Shane Victorino.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports and WFAN confirmed that the Yankees are one of seven teams who are interested in the 32-year-old's services.
Victorino on the Yankees could make sense for right field, but I think he's going to get a bigger offer to play center field elsewhere (three-four year deal).
Plus, the Bombers still have Curtis Granderson in center field and have yet to trade him.
I think with this one, Brian Cashman was doing his due diligence and I don't see him landing in the Bronx.
Fact or Fiction: The Yankees Have Interest in Jeff Keppinger
The Yankees have used Eric Chavez and Eduardo Nunez as their main utility players in recent years.
Chavez goes year-to-year and his status for 2013 is up in the air. Nunez is still a work in progress, although his fielding is less than desirable.
Furthermore, Derek Jeter just had surgery on his ankle and his status for opening day remains to be seen.
According to Jack Moore of CBS Sports, the Yankees have interest in free agent infielder Jeff Keppinger.
Keppinger hit .325 with nine home runs and 40 RBI in 115 games with the Rays in 2012.
Moore said the Yankees have been interested in Keppinger for a while now and, in fact, they tried to trade for him back in 2010 when he was a member of the Houston Astros.
He would make a lot of sense for the Yankees, especially considering that he doesn't strike out that much and can play multiple infield positions.
With the Yankees looking to reduce their payroll, Keppinger makes sense for their team.
Fact or Fiction: The Yankees Could Trade for Carlos Santana
It would make sense, considering a lot of people are expecting the Indians to be sellers at the Winter Meetings this week.
Names like Shin-Soo Choo, Chris Perez, Justin Masterson and Asdrubal Cabrera are all expected to get shopped and potentially moved by the Tribe.
I think the 27-year-old would definitely interest the Yankees, but it's hard to tell right now if Santana is on the block, and if he were, what Cleveland would want for him.
Considering he'll only make $550,000 in 2013, he's definitely a cheaper option than signing Mike Napoli or A.J. Pierzynski and he has more upside given his talent and age.
Right now, this trade idea is all speculation, and until there is a story that confirms interest, it goes in the fiction side.
However, I think this would be a great move for the Yankees to try and pursue while in Nashville.