Yankees Rumors: Fact or Fiction on All the Hottest Rumors in the Bronx

Doug Rush@Doug_RushSenior Analyst INovember 19, 2012

Yankees Rumors: Fact or Fiction on All the Hottest Rumors in the Bronx

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    The winter offseason for baseball always gets off to a slow start.

    I think the reason behind that is teams tend to wait on others to see who is going to make an offer first and then go from there.

    I find it similar to a very expensive chess game all of the MLB general managers play.

    And for the New York Yankees, their strategy for the winter began the night after they were eliminated in the 2012 American League Championship Series against the Detroit Tigers.

    With the team trying to get down to the $189 million mark for payroll, it's hard to gauge what Yankees GM Brian Cashman's intentions are for the 2013 roster.

    Heading into Thanksgiving week, we've already heard multiple rumors as far as who the Yankees might be interested in signing and re-signing.

    In this story, we will play "fact or fiction" on what the Yankees may have in store for this winter.

Fact or Fiction: The Yankees Want to Replace Andruw Jones with Scott Hairston

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    Fact or fiction: The Yankees are looking to replace fourth outfielder Andruw Jones with the New York Mets' Scott Hairston.

    Before the All-Star break, Andruw Jones at times looked like his old self at the plate with 11 home runs as the Yankees fourth outfielder.

    In the second half, Jones looked like the player that got overpaid with the Dodgers, hitting only three more home runs and watching his batting average drop from .244 all the way down to .197.

    Jones has run his course with the Yankees and likely will not be brought back in 2013, which means the Yankees will need to find a suitable replacement off the bench.

    According to Dan Martin of the New York Post, "the Yankees are having discussions about going after Scott Hairston."

    Hairston in 2012 hit .263 with 20 home runs and 57 RBI in 134 games for the New York Mets. The home runs and RBI were all career highs for the 32-year-old.

    Hairston can play both outfield spots if needed; however, Mike Axisa of River Ave. Blues reported that Hairston could get a two-year deal worth $16-18 million, which is a lot for a platoon player.

    If his price comes down from that, he could definitely fit in with the Yankees.

    Verdict: Fact

Fact or Fiction: The Yankees Are Trying to Keep Rafael Soriano

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    Fact or fiction: The Yankees are trying to keep Rafael Soriano for 2013.

    Rafael Soriano did a tremendous job taking over for Mariano Rivera as the Yankees closer when he went down with a torn ACL.

    Because of his great season, it allowed Soriano to take advantage of his final opt-out clause in his contract to become a free agent in an attempt to be a full-time closer.

    The Yankees have reportedly had discussions about trying to bring back Soriano on a two-year deal, but honestly, I don't think Soriano is interested.

    With Rivera stating that he wants to return for 2013, Soriano doesn't seem too keen on being a setup man after the season he had.

    Besides, the Yankees can use the $14 million they would have had to pay Soriano and use that elsewhere for their bullpen.

    Soriano will likely be getting a three-year deal for about $40-45 million elsewhere, and deep down, I think the Yankees know this.

    Verdict: Fiction

Fact or Fiction: Hiroki Kuroda Is Deciding Between New York or Japan

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    Fact or fiction: Hiroki Kuroda is deciding between playing for the Yankees or going home to Japan.

    Hiroki Kuroda's situation seems to change by the week.

    Last week, it was reported that Kuroda preferred to pitch in California near his family, which had made the Dodgers or Angels the front-runners to land him.

    Now, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, that has changed:

    Sense among execs - and not just those with #Yankees - is that Kuroda will stay with Yanks or return to Japan. Other options less in play.

    — Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 19, 2012

    The 37-year-old was 16-11 with a 3.32 ERA with the Yankees last season and just turned down a one-year, $13.3 million qualifying offer to stay in the Bronx.

    I think the Yankees will have to give him a little more money in order for him to not go back to Japan, which I think they are just fine with doing.

    Kuroda is an extremely important part of the rotation and the Yankees know this, and I would not be surprised if the Yankees end up giving him $15-16 million on a one-year deal to keep him in the Bronx.

    Verdict: Fact

Fact or Fiction: The Yankees Are Interested in Mike Napoli

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    Fact or fiction: The Yankees are interested in free-agent catcher Mike Napoli.

    The Yankees have a hole at catcher and the biggest name on the market is Texas Rangers catcher Mike Napoli.

    Bob Nightengale of USA Today first reported that the Yankees were interested in Napoli's services:

    Mike Napoli, the Texas #Rangers free-agent catcher, is drawing interest from the New York #Yankees

    — Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) November 12, 2012

    I know a lot of fans would like to see Napoli in pinstripes, but I honestly think Brian Cashman would like to have Russell Martin back as the catcher.

    Martin might not hit as many home runs as Napoli, but on defense, Martin is a better defender and handles a pitching staff more efficiently.

    Plus, I think Napoli eventually will have to switch to being more of a first basemen and DH-type anyway.

    However, I think if Martin ended up taking more money to go elsewhere, then that could spark the Yankees to be more aggressive for Napoli.

    But I still think Martin is their first choice for catcher.

    Verdict: Fiction

Fact or Fiction: The Yankees Are Interested in Ricky Nolasco

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    Fact or fiction: the Yankees are interested in Miami Marlins starter Ricky Nolasco.

    I'm 50-50 on Ricky Nolasco.

    He's a name that has come up with regards to Yankees rumors in the past, and after the recent Marlins fire sale, his name on the trading block makes sense.

    Nolasco will make $11.5 million next year, which is the biggest and really only major deal left on the Marlins payroll, and according to Erik Boland of Newsday, the Yankees have expressed interest in trading for him.

    With the Marlins selling off parts, source says Yankees, not surprisingly, have an interest in Nolasco, who has 1 yr $11.5 mil left on deal

    — Erik Boland (@eboland11) November 14, 2012

    The good about Nolasco is that he'll make 30-plus starts and give you 190-200 innings.

    The bad, his ERA is a career 4.49 pitching in the NL East, and opponents are hitting almost .300 off him.

    As a fourth starter in the Yankees rotation, I can actually see it, and I think the interest is there.

    But I honestly think Nolasco would be a disaster with the Yankees, and if I were Brian Cashman, I'd stay away and look at other options.

    Verdict: Fact