MLB Rumors: 10 Players the Yankees Should Target
The Yankees have many things on the to-do list this offseason, including re-signing a pair of legends in Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera.
On top of this, the Yankees need to replenish a roster that came up well short of their championship goals. For now let's look at 10 players the Yankees should target this offseason.
This list includes players on the team last year that the Yankees need to bring back and free agents or trade possibilities they should take a look at.
10. Kerry Wood
Kerry Wood was outstanding after being acquired by the Yankees halfway through the season. He held down the eighth inning role and was the key to the bridge to Mariano Rivera.
The Yankees did not pick up Wood's option for next season but could still sign him. The Yankees chances of signing him depend on if he wants to be a closer or not.
If he is content with his eighth inning role, we could very easily see him back in the Bronx.
9. Scott Downs
The Yanks were lacking in the lefty relief department last year, as they had to rely too heavily on Boone Logan with Damaso Marte out.
GM Brian Cashman will no doubt try to fix this and Scott Downs should be his main target. Downs was impressive last year in Toronto and would fit in well in the Yankees bullpen.
Expect Cashman to pay Downs money to lure him to New York.
8. Andy Pettitte
Despite having an injury-shortened season, Andy Pettitte was very effective for the Yankees.
He had another impressive postseason as well and looks like he still has plenty left in the tank. It is safe to say that the Yankees would welcome him back, but will Pettitte have the mental energy left for another season?
I am leaning towards thinking Pettitte will be back to solidify what should be a much-improved Yankee rotation.
7. Brian Fuentes
The Yankees may need an eighth inning man for 2011, especially if they can't re-sign Kerry Wood. They could also use another lefty in the pen and Fuentes is a proven one.
Fuentes has shown he can pitch in the American League and would be well suited as an eighth inning guy for the Yankees. He may not be totally necessary for the Yankees to pick up, but I think he is worth a look this offseason.
6. Ramon Hernandez/Rod Barajas/Miguel Olivo
Any one of these catchers could be picked up as a way to ease the stress on Jorge Posada, as he continues his age and can be seen as an improvement of incumbent backup Francisco Cervelli.
These guys all have some solid pop and good skills defensively. I think the Yankees will have to look hard at the catching situation. If prospects Jesus Montero and Austin Romine are not ready for the majors this season, they may need to look at one of these guys as a temporary stopgap.
5. Zack Greinke
Greinke would have to be acquired by trade and it would probably take a pretty decent package to get him. However, he is probably too expensive for the Royals so they should look to trade him before his contract runs out.
The Yankees would go after Greinke if they cannot land their No. 1 pitching target (more on him later). He could probably be had but it would be up to Cashman to put together a good deal for the Yankees.
If Greinke can adapt to the pressure of New York, certainly a big if, he could be the young ace to solidify this staff.
4. Carl Crawford
Carl Crawford is certainly the top hitter on the market and could be considered the top overall player. Because of this, the Yankees will be brought up in every Crawford-related discussion.
The Yankees certainly do not need Crawford, but he would be an expensive luxury. I could see the Yankees going after him if some other strategies fall through or if they just feel like going for the jugular with a big addition to the lineup (similar to the Mark Teixeira signing).
It is unlikely but certainly possible that Crawford is in pinstripes come next season.
3. Derek Jeter
Derek Jeter is a Yankee legend, champion and still the captain of this team. Because of this I don't expect Jeter to go anywhere but back to the Bronx.
However, given Jeter's struggles in 2010, there are some new conversations that need to take place this time around. Jeter's eventual move from the shortstop position must be addressed, as does some sort of contingency plan if Jeter's skills continue to erode.
I think he will come back for a lot of money, but there will be some tenuous moments before all can be put to rest.
2. Mariano Rivera
Another legend and surefire Hall of Famer needs a new contract, but this one should go a little more smoothly.
Mo is still the best weapon out of the bullpen in baseball, and he becomes even more dangerous as the games get bigger. Mo will get paid and this could very well be the last contract he has to sign as a player.
This one should go down very quick and easy.
1. Cliff Lee
Cliff Lee has continually dominated the Yankees over the last couple years, and finally the Yankees have their chance to bring him to their team without giving up top prospects.
The bidding will probably come down to the Yankees and Rangers. The Yankees have the financial advantage, but Lee probably knows he has a great chance to win with either team, so it will be the Yankees dollars vs. his comfort with the Rangers.
I don't think the reports of Yankee fans spitting on Lee's wife will have any impact on the negotiations, except it may drive the price for the Yankees up even more. Typically that has not been a problem with the Yankees.
At the end of the day the Yankees NEED to get Lee and I expect they will find a way to get that done.