It has been an extremely quiet offseason for the New York Yankees thus far, but rumors continue to swirl as to what the Bombers will do the rest of the winter in order to fill their respective holes.
There hasn't been any big splashes from general manager Brian Cashman yet, but the Yanks are interested in several players that can still make a significant contribution for what the team needs.
Let's take a look at the hottest rumors involving the Yanks.
With the chance to bring in a quality outfielder to the Bronx becoming more bleak by the day, Michael Bourn's name has been floated around lately as a possible addition to the Yankees.
Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe first reported that the team was "quietly interested" in the speedy outfielder.
However, a report by Wallace Matthews of ESPNNewYork.com dispelled that rumor rather quickly and with great logic:
The reasons are several: For one, the price tag is too high. For another, Bourn is a left-handed hitter, and the Yankees already have three of them in their projected starting outfield for 2013. And for a third, until further notice, the Yankees already have a center fielder in Curtis Granderson.
It makes sense that the Yanks wouldn't make this move. Bourn will be looking for a multi-year deal and he simply isn't the type of impact player the Bombers would spend money on at the moment. The 2014 payroll target is clearly a major priority for Hal Steinbrenner and company.
Even if the price for Bourn was reasonable, the Yankees desperately need a right-handed hitting outfielder to go with the three left-handed ones in Ichiro Suzuki, Brett Gardner and Curtis Granderson.
Scott Hairston had a career year for the New York Mets last season and is an intriguing option for the Yanks to look at in order to fill their need: a right-handed hitting outfielder with some pop.
But Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (via Twitter) reported that Hairston isn't a good fit with the Yankees because he's seeking a starting role and the Bombers can't offer him that with three starting-caliber outfielders already on the roster.
Also, Hairston is likely seeking a multi-year deal and the Yanks will be hesitant to make such a commitment at this time. It looks like Hairston will only be returning to New York if the Mets end up signing him.
There aren't many names circulating in regards to the Yanks outfielder search, but Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News (Via Twitter) came up with a logical option in Matt Diaz of the Atlanta Braves:
A RH OF free-agent that may make sense for the Yankees: Matt Diaz. Career .324/.364/.498 vs LHP. He's healthy again and won't be expensive.— Mark Feinsand (@FeinsandNYDN) December 23, 2012
Diaz battled major health issues in 2012 and only played in 51 games. But the Braves outfielder has proven to be a solid hitter at the major-league level in the past.
In 2007, Diaz hit .338 with 12 homers and 45 RBI in 135 games with the Braves. As recently as 2009, Diaz hit .313 with 13 homers and 58 RBI in 125 games. Not to mention, as Feinsand reported, Diaz is very effective against left-handers and can help the Yankees shore-up their outfield platoon.
Injuries have been a concern for Diaz, but he won't have to play as much in New York. Coming off a season in the trainer's room, Diaz will also cost much less to acquire. The Braves outfielder will also be a free agent in 2013, so he isn't a long-term commitment.
This idea is really just speculation, but it makes sense for the Yanks.
Vernon Wells has been nothing short of a disappointment since getting that enormous seven-year, $126 million contract. Now that his deal is winding down and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have added Josh Hamilton, he's become expendable.
Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reported that the Yankees and Angels were talking about a possible deal for the veteran outfielder.
Wells is owed a ton of money over the next two seasons, totaling over $40 million. Wells obviously doesn't fit into the Yanks' 2014 plans no matter how solid of a fit Wells is. So if this deal gets done, it'll be because the Angels eat just about all of Wells' contract through the 2014 season.
That doesn't seem likely for a team like the Angels, who has spent an unimaginable amount of money over the last two offseasons. One could venture to guess that the Bombers will wait this out in hopes of forcing the Angels to pick up every penny of Wells' contract.