The injury to Alex Rodriguez has turned general manager Brian Cashman's attention to finding an infielder to replace him, as well as an outfielder to make up for the production lost by letting Nick Swisher go.
Let's play a little fact or fiction on some of the hottest rumors surrounding the Bombers.
The Yankees made several attempts to land an infielder to replace the injured Alex Rodriguez for the start of the season, but have failed thus far.
Per Anthony McCarron and Christian Red of the New York Daily News, Youkilis is considering a one-year offer from the Bombers as we speak (or read):
So with one serious suitor down, the Yankees’ chances may have improved, though the Mariners and Dodgers are among the teams that also have reportedly shown interest in Youkilis. Youkilis’ agent, Joe Bick, said Sunday his client is “giving serious consideration to the Yankees” but wouldn’t offer more detail on what other teams were involved.
Last week, sources say, the Yankees offered Youkilis a one-year deal worth $12 million at baseball’s winter meetings in Nashville. The Indians reportedly offered the Ohio native a two-year, $18 million contract to rejoin his former Boston manager, new Tribe skipper Terry Francona.
If those are truly the top three suitors for Youkilis' services, than the Bombers have a great shot to land the former Red Sox star. Being that those other two destinations are across the country, the Yanks have an advantage in geography from the jump.
Youkilis has spent his major league career playing for a team on the East Coast, so it's realistic to think he'd like to keep it in the area. Plus, Youkilis knows he'll have a great chance to win with a perennial playoff contender like the Yankees, much like he did with Boston.
On the flip side, the Yanks get a guy who can play both corner infield positions and is good enough offensively to hit in the designated hitter slot. A one-year deal will also make it certain Youk won't be a problem during the impending payroll Armageddon of 2014.
It appears the Bombers are looking into Hamilton, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports, but it is just "preliminary":
The New York Yankees have launched a preliminary background check on free agent All-Star slugger Josh Hamilton, according to an American League general manager.
The general manager spoke to USA TODAY Sports on condition of anonymity due to the sensitive and ongoing nature of the negotiations.
Hamilton would be an expensive and risky venture for the Yanks to embark on. His history with drug addiction and injuries have made giving Hamilton a long-term deal a foolish idea, especially with all the money that is involved.
A-Rod's contract will be the last of its kind for quite some time in the Yankees Universe, so Hamilton isn't going to get anywhere near that much if the Bombers even make an offer.
The only hope for signing Hamilton with the 2014 payroll numbers in mind is if the market for his talents is so bad, that an historically expensive and lengthy contract isn't necessary to sign him.
Good luck with that.
With Russell Martin heading to Pittsburgh in 2013, the Yankees need a catcher and although A.J. Pierzynski is the best catcher on the market, the Bombers are "hesitant" to sign him, per Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (via Twitter).
#yankees hesitating on pierzynski because they view him as only average defender. AJ had big yr but market a mystery— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) December 8, 2012
This is a move the Yanks will stay away from.
Not only is Pierzynski a mediocre defensive catcher, he is also a mediocre teammate with an abrasive personality that can disrupt a clubhouse. For my money, I'd bet that's exactly what the Yanks are "hesitant" about.
Other than those two factors, Pierzynski carries a better stick with him to the plate than Martin did, but that might not be worth signing this backstop.
Ichiro and Ibanez have both expressed their interest in playing for the Yankees in 2013, but up until this point in the MLB offseason, no deal has been made.
Here's the latest on both veterans, per Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com:
The Yankees are showing strong interest in re-signing the free-agent outfielder, according to major league sources.
"They are all over him," one source says. "That (a deal with Ichiro) will happen."
The return of Ichiro would not preclude the Yankees from re-signing free agent Raul Ibanez, another left-handed hitter who likely would get most of his at-bats as a DH.
New York would be crazy not to bring back its two most productive players during October, especially since Suzuki and Ibanez will garner a short-term deal that will fit into the Yanks payroll plans for 2014.
It's a thin market out there and I think general manager Brian Cashman has already learned his lesson with Eric Chavez skipping town to Arizona. Look for Ichiro and Ibanez to be in pinstripes for another season.