The New York Yankees were wild spenders in free agency this offseason, bringing in Brian McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran and Masahiro Tanaka on massive contracts.
There was almost another large contract handed out by general manager Brian Cashman.
Mike Puma of the New York Post tweets that shortstop/third baseman Jhonny Peralta was offered a three-year contract by the Yankees earlier in the offseason:
Peralta says NYY offered 3 years and chance to play 3B, so if he went to New York it would have been for Yankees.— Mike Puma (@NYPost_Mets) March 2, 2014
Of course, Peralta ended up signing a lucrative deal with the St. Louis Cardinals, as reported by Jon Morosi of Fox Sports:
Jhonny Peralta and the Cardinals are close on a four-year deal worth a little more than $52 million, source says. @FOXSports1— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) November 24, 2013
Peralta also turned down an offer from the New York Mets that was for two years, as he deemed it "not really good," via Puma:
Jhonny Peralta: "The Mets talked to me, but the offer they made was not really good." ... Mets offered 2 yrs. He got 4 with STL.— Mike Puma (@NYPost_Mets) March 2, 2014
The Yankees were spurned by another shortstop this offseason, as Stephen Drew—who is still a free agent—turned down a multi-year offer from the team. Joel Sherman of the New York Post, who broke the news of the Yankees' offer to Drew, highlighted the Yankees' strategy in going after free agents this offseason:
Early in the offseason, the Yankees – with so many holes to fill – used a strategy of making many offers at one time, letting agents know that with each signing, they would re-assess and pull some bids. The Yankees actually made Drew an offer at that time, believed to be for two or three years, when the shortstop was still looking to do considerably better – four or five years.
And, as it happened, the Yankees spent more than they anticipated on players such as Brian McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury and Masahiro Tanaka and, at some point, rescinded the offer for Drew.
Signing Peralta likely would have affected the Yankees' pursuit of other free agents, but this new information suggests even further that the Yankees were willing to do anything this offseason to improve.
Would you have liked the Yankees to sign Peralta, even if it meant missing out on other free agents?
It's unclear when the offer was extended Peralta's way, but it very well may have come before Alex Rodriguez's suspension became official. This is interesting when you consider that Peralta would have been given the chance to be the team's everyday third baseman (likely for all three seasons of the deal).
The Yankees were without serious options at third base after Peralta turned them down and Rodriguez was suspended. This led them to shifting Kelly Johnson from second base, where he was originally supposed to split time with Brian Roberts, to the hot corner.
Peralta would have added a nice bat to the bottom third of a deep Yankees lineup. The 31-year-old hit .303/.358/.457 with 11 home runs and 55 RBI in 107 games last season with the Detroit Tigers.
Instead, the Yankees will break camp with Johnson and possibly Eduardo Nunez splitting time at third.
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