LADY AT THE BAT: The Winter Meetings & the Quest For $189M (With Post-Meetings Updates)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Winter Meetings & the Quest For $189M (With Post-Meetings Updates)

The Winter Meetings will come to a close today and, if all things remain the same, the Yankees will have signed and/or traded for no one.

It's been a disappointing week for Yankee fans. Yesterday was especially disappointing, as Eric Chavez and Jeff Keppinger, two players who were looked at as a third base platoon in 2013, signed with the Diamondbacks and White Sox respectively. Several writers and reporters tweeted that the Yankees never even made either of them an offer. They now seem to be turning their attention to Mark Reynolds.

Then there are the other positions that need filling or upgrading. Russell Martin's departure led to rumors earlier in the week that AJ Pierzynski was on the Yankees' radar. Also, with Nick Swisher obviously unwelcome for 2013, you heard names like Scott Hairston and Nate Schierholtz begin thrown around. 

Of course, all of this sit-on-your-hands lack of activity by the Yankees is due to their quest to get below the $189 million payroll threshold in 2014. When I first heard about this goal early this past season, I said I'd believe it when I saw it. Well, it looks like I'm seeing it. We're all seeing it. As I tweeted yesterday, these are not your older brother's New York Yankees.

But will they stick to their new fiscal conservatism?  Baseball writers like Tracy Ringolsby and Ken Rosenthal aren't so sure. They both half expect the Yankees to wake up from their fiscal slumber and pull off a blockbuster deal or two before Spring Training rolls around.

As for me, this whole thing reminds me of the 2008 season, when the Yankees decided to go with kids like Ian Kennedy and Phil Hughes in their rotation, instead of acquiring someone like Johan Santana. Kennedy and Hughes were flops and the Yankees missed the playoffs for the first time in years. Team brass immediately rectified things by signing CC Sabathia among others.

Will the time come when the Yankees declare their $189 million quest a flop? Only time will tell. In the meantime, try not to get to depressed, Yankee fans.

Update, 12/9/12: The only thing the Yankees ended up doing in Nashville was extending a one-year, $12 million offer to Kevin Youkilis, hoping he would fill in at third base until Alex Rodriguez recovers from left hip surgery. The offer looks almost like a last ditch effort to save face at the Meetings.

If it is true that the Indians  have also made him an offer, he will likely go there, since his old friend, former Red Sox Manager Terry Francona is the new skipper. So, it's probably back to the drawing board for the New York Yankees.

Update, 12/10/12: With Mark Reynolds signing with the Indians it looks as if Youkilis will, indeed, sign with the Yankees. But, reportedly, he has other offers to consider as well. All I know is that seeing Youkilis in pinstripes would be very, very hard to get used to.

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