Yankees Rumors: Fact or Fiction on All the Hottest Rumors in New York
With the Winter Meetings right around the corner, the New York Yankees have been quiet in the offseason thus far, but that normally means big moves are being worked on behind the scenes.
Rumors have already begun to swirl about some of the more known free-agent targets for the Bombers, and there have even been some names being talked about that aren't so expected.
Let's play a little fact or fiction with some of the latest offseason rumors for the Yanks.
The Yankees Will Land Giancarlo Stanton: Fiction
Alright, I'm pissed off!!! Plain & Simple— Giancarlo Stanton (@Giancarlo818) November 13, 2012
Combined with Stanton's anger at management and the team's propensity to trade all of its talented players, rumors are running wild about the possibility of Stanton himself being traded, and the Yankees are one of the teams inquiring.
While Selig did not step in to change or block that trade, he may not look too fondly upon a deal for the Marlins’ biggest draw. Teams would have to give their very best to the Marlins for baseball’s best young slugger. The Phillies, Red Sox, Yankees, Orioles, Cubs, and many more are inquiring, according to a major league source.
Chances are the Marlins will hold onto Stanton no matter how angry he might be. The fact is that Stanton is still a very attractive piece of the puzzle to Miami because of his talent and small paycheck. Stanton is under team control for years to come and doesn't hit the open market until 2017.
Even if the Marlins decided to deal their best remaining player, there are a ton of teams who will be interested in the outfielder, namely teams with deep farm systems. Miami wouldn't care where it ships Stanton as long as it gets a nice haul of prospects in return.
The Bombers might have some nice players to deal to Miami for Stanton, but the competition will be fierce, and it remains to be seen if the Yanks have enough to top other interested parties.
General manager Brian Cashman would no doubt do whatever it takes to bring in such a young, talented player who comes for a cheap price, but that just seems too good to be true for the Yankees.
The Yankees Will Bring Back Russell Martin: Fact
During the ALDS against the Baltimore Orioles, Russell Martin made it perfectly clear where he wanted to play in 2013 and beyond, per Ian O'Connor of ESPNNewYork.com.
"The point now is to play to win, to play a team game, and hopefully that's good enough for [a new deal]," Martin told ESPNNewYork.com. "It's a great place to play. You know you're going to be in it here, and you know you're always going to be playing for something.
"The Yankees is the place to be. It's the best place I've ever played."
It was only a year ago when Cashman called Martin "Munson-like" in a report by Anthony McCarron and Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News. That's very high praise for any player that puts on a uniform—especially the pinstripes.
There's no doubt the Bombers like what Martin brings to the team and how well he handles the pitching staff. While he does have problems hitting for average, Martin still drives in runs and can hit the longball.
It's pretty rare for a team to let a catcher with Martin's qualities walk, so expect this situation to be no different. The Yanks' 2012 backstop is the perfect player to carry the organization into the Gary Sanchez era.
The latest on Martin comes from Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com:
"As of several days ago, the Yankees and Martin were seen as apart on dollars. But progress has been seen over the weekend."
As long as Martin's price is not astronomical, the Yanks will likely pay what they must to keep the stability that Martin brings behind the plate. Judging from how high the Bombers are on Martin as a catcher and his interest in staying with the Yankees, it's likely the two sides will get the deal done.
Ichiro Will Return in 2013: Fact
To say Ichiro was rejuvenated when he joined the Yankees would be a huge understatement.
Before coming to New York, Suzuki was hitting .261 with four homers and 28 RBI in 95 games with the Seattle Mariners. With the Bombers, Suzuki hit all around the order and finished with five homers and 27 RBI in just 67 games in pinstripes.
Ichiro stands to be a huge addition to the top of the order for the Yanks next season. Suzuki makes it much easier for the Bombers to score runs by way of small ball, which is a nice relief for a lineup heavily dependent on the longball.
Not to mention the eventual departure of Nick Swisher will make it necessary for the Yanks to add Ichiro to their current 2013 outfield.
Per George A. King III of the New York Post, Ichiro wants to remain with the team because he enjoys playing in the Bronx. On top of that, Ichiro is even willing to wait for the Yanks to find pitching before they begin contract discussions.
Here is what Ichiro's agent told the Post:
“They are going after pitching first which is what the Yankees normally do,’’ Tony Attanasio, Ichiro’s well-respected agent, said yesterday. “There has been a lot of interest [from teams], but he enjoyed playing for the Yankees so much it’s hard for him to say no to the Yankees. His preference is to stay there instead of going someplace else, but we will wait and see.’’
I'm no mind reader, but I'd say Ichiro is doing everything necessary to remain with the team next season.
This deal works out perfectly for both sides.
At Ichiro's age, he is looking to win his first championship, and the Yanks give him the perfect opportunity to do that. Also, the Yanks are looking for short-term solutions with the 2014 payroll situation in mind, and a short-term contract is exactly what Ichiro will command.
Andy Pettitte Will Retire: Fiction
Andy Pettitte's return to the Yankees is still in doubt, but Pettitte is expected to make his decision soon, per Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News.
It's been nearly six weeks since the Yankees were swept away by the Tigers, and although Pettitte initially said he would take about a month to mull his future, he has yet to come to a final decision.
The source said Pettitte is expected to make that decision "soon," though it was unclear whether that meant it would come this week.
Pettitte has talked about not wanting to hold up the Yankees' offseason plans, so with the Winter Meetings set to open next Monday, it's possible he ends the suspense in the coming days.
So, it appears Pettitte's return is hinging upon the same body he was quite successful with on the mound nearly two months ago. Unless Pettitte has fallen off a physical cliff in the past few months, it's doubtful his body won't respond well to his offseason workouts.
Besides, walking away from the game at this point would be foolish on Pettitte's part. Despite a freak injury that kept him out for most of the season, Pettitte was sensational during his comeback season in 2012.
Pettitte was 5-4 with a 2.87 ERA in just 12 starts, but he more than proved he can still pitch in the postseason after going 0-1 with a 3.29 ERA in October. With numbers like those, Pettitte still has what it takes to be an important part of this team's rotation.
As long as he can still compete, I just don't see Pettitte walking away from the game yet. As long as the Yanks are willing to give him a raise from his miniscule 2012 salary, there's no reason why Pettitte won't return to the Bronx in 2013.
The Yankees Need Jeff Keppinger or Stephen Drew: Fiction
Utility infielders proved to play an important role for the Bombers in 2012, and with their aging roster not getting any younger, it's apparent the same will happen in 2013. As both Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter get older, it will be necessary to play the two stars at designated hitter more.
Eric Chavez proved to be more than a servicable backup for he Yankees last season. The Yanks' backup third baseman hit 16 homers and 37 RBI with a .287 average. More importantly, Chavez sported a .362 average during the month of August, and that stint just so happened to be during the biggest chunk of A-Rod's absence.
However, Chavez is a free agent this offseason, and there is a possibility that the 34-year-old takes his talents someplace else. If that were to happen, the Bombers would be left with Eduardo Nunez and Jayson Nix as backup infielders.
According to Jack Moore and Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, the Bombers might not think that's enough to get by with, as the team has shown interest in Stephen Drew and Jeff Keppinger. Both are solid choices to get the job done, but the Yanks might be able to look in-house to find the solution.
Nunez is certainly the best candidate to be a primary bench player for the Yanks. The 25-year-old has proven to be a talented hitter with surprising pop in his bat and speed to be a menace on the bases. If you want to talk about upside, Nunez has it.
Fielding has been, and will continue to be, a concern for Nunez, but if he can get it together, New York would have a huge asset on its bench.
Nix isn't the flashy name that some might be thinking of, but he is a solid fielder who can move to third base and hold his own at the plate.
To add more depth, the Bombers can't go wrong bringing Chavez back for another season. He can provide a left-handed bat off the bench with the ability to carry the team should a key hitter go down to injury.
If anything, the Bombers would be better off with Drew to give manager Joe Girardi more flexibility with his lineup. We all know how much Girardi loves his options, but neither Drew nor Keppinger are absolutely needed to meet the demand.