New York Yankees

MLB Winter Meetings 2011: Will the New York Yankees Make a Move in Dallas?

TAMPA - FEBRUARY 17:  General Manager Brian Cashman listens during a press conference with infielder Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees February 17, 2008 at the George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Florida. The Yankees third baseman admitted to taking a substance known as 'boli' acquired with his cousin in the Dominican Republic in 2001.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images
Doug RushSenior Analyst IDecember 5, 2011

So far this winter for the New York Yankees, it's been a lot of talk and little movement.

Aside from bringing back their own players, they haven't made a single move yet to bring in any new players and improve the 2012 roster.

We know Yankees general manager Brian Cashman's main interest this winter is starting pitching, as it was last winter.

And last year, their main focus was going all out to land Cliff Lee.

When the 2010 MLB Winter Meetings took place in Orlando, Cashman's main focus was negotiating with Lee's agent Darek Braunecker and submitting their first proposal.

In the end, Lee ended up spurning the Yankees, leaving at least two guaranteed years and more money on the table to return to the Philadelphia Phillies.

By missing out on Lee, it made Cashman redirect his offseason plans drastically, but in the end, the Yankees missed out on the guy they ultimately wanted.

However, three years ago, the Yankees came into the 2008 Winter Meetings with one name on their agenda in CC Sabathia.

They had already made him an initial offer, but Sabathia was thinking over the Yankees offer. Cashman actually left the Winter Meetings held in Las Vegas early to travel to San Francisco to meet with Sabathia and up their offer to the left-hander.

A couple of days later, Sabathia ended up signing the seven-year, $161 million deal with the Yankees, so by leaving the Winter Meetings early, Cashman ended up making the right move because he got the guy he wanted.

 

In the 2009 Winter Meetings in Indianapolis, the Yankees were coming fresh off winning the 2009 World Series, so making any type of move wasn't necessary, but they ended up making a big trade that impacted three separate teams.

The Yankees, Detroit Tigers and Arizona Diamondbacks pulled off the three-team deal that landed the Yankees Curtis Granderson, the Tigers Max Scherzer, Austin Jackson, Phil Coke and Daniel Schlereth and the Diamondbacks Edwin Jackson and Ian Kennedy.

And now, fast forward to the 2011 Winter Meetings, and Cashman needs to make some kind of move.

It's really looking like they aren't too intrigued with the pitchers on the free-agent market like C.J. Wilson, Roy Oswalt, Edwin Jackson and Mark Buehrle.

I can understand Cashman not wanting to overpay for starters considering he has two young prospects getting closer to being called up in Dellin Betances and Manny Banuelos, but who knows how long it will take before both are deemed ready to be put into the starting rotation.

SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 27:  Matt Garza #17 of the Chicago Cubs pitches during the first inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park on September 27, 2011 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
Denis Poroy/Getty Images

If the Yankees are going to do anything when they are in Dallas for the next four days, I think it will have to be in a trade.

But the question is, for who?

I've suggested Matt Garza of the Chicago Cubs, but according to Sports Illustrated and WFAN's Jon Heyman, it will take an "overwhelming offer" for them to even think about unloading Garza.

 

With Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer running the show in Chicago, that kind of offer would mean the Yankees would have to part with their best guys, in which case, Cashman needs to look elsewhere.

Don't get me wrong, I like Garza a lot, but not for Banuelos and Jesus Montero.

They could look to Gio Gonzalez of the Oakland A's, and you have to wonder what Oakland's GM Billy Beane would want in return for Gonzalez.

He's a solid, young left-hander, but he's also benefited from pitching in the spacious Oakland Coliseum and you have to wonder how he would transition in Yankee Stadium.

There's also Chicago White Sox pitchers John Danks and Gavin Floyd, who have been rumored to be on the block this winter.

SEATTLE - SEPTEMBER 28:  Starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez #47 of the Oakland Athletics pitches against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on September 28, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

But, what would Chicago GM Kenny Williams want? And would it be worth it for two pitchers who likely would be at best, a solid No. 2 or 3 pitcher for the Yankees.

I'm sure everyone would love for the Yankees and Cashman to try and talk to Seattle Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik and see if he's even remotely interested in dealing Felix Hernandez.

But, again, I don't think Seattle is interested in trading their ace, especially if they are trying to land Prince Fielder this winter to make their team much more competitive.

And lastly, there is the anticipation of Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish being officially posted and available for teams to bid for his services.

 

While a lot of people want the Yankees to get Darvish, I'm not sold on him. And I have Kei Igawa to thank and blame for that.

Now, I'm not saying Darvish will be a career minor-leaguer like Igawa has been for the Yankees, but I think Cashman will shy away a little before dealing with another Japanese pitcher again.

But Darvish isn't even expected to be posted until possibly January, so that doesn't even matter right now for the upcoming meetings.

DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 04: New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman looks at a photo taken by photographer Jeff Kowalski while talking to the media prior to playing the Detroit Tigers in game four of the American League Division Series at Comerica Pa
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

From all the stories I read and the opinions I gather, you get the feeling that the Yankees are going to have a quiet winter offseason, something they can't have if they want to improve their team.

Sure, right now, the Yankees are good enough to win the American League East and make the playoffs, but that would be about it.

And that's not what you build a team for. No. You build a team to win in October, and right now, this team would be another one-and-done team like they were in the 2011 ALDS against the Tigers.

And I am going to hold Cashman to his word that his priority is still upgrading the starting rotation.

I know he is preaching patience. But he can only be patient to a certain point.

After a certain point, Cashman needs to be active and make a move to help the team in 2012.

So now, as the 2011 MLB Winter Meetings get going on Monday in Dallas, only time will tell if Cashman and the Yankees will try to do anything or will sit back and play the waiting game.

Stay tuned, Yankees Universe.

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