The baseball offseason has been quieter than usual around these parts.
Jose Reyes' situation has made for some conjecture hear and there, but there hasn't been much more to do than wait on that front as the Mets wait for the market to be set so they can either counter the offer or simply let him sign somewhere else. Over in the Bronx, the Yankees haven't been doing much of anything since making sure CC Sabathia and Brian Cashman didn't head elsewhere.
That either means they really aren't going to make a big splash this year or that they are planning a stealth move in the vein of the Mark Teixeira signing before the 2009 season. Since they still have a real need for pitching, we'll operate under the assumption that it is the latter and take a look at what they might do on that front.
High end free agent options are not plentiful this year, but there are some intriguing names being floated on the trade market. Some of these guys won't move, but with a deep farm system and payroll you can bet the Yankees are going to be in on any that are actually moving.
The names listed below are all possibilities for the Yankees, so let's look at the pros and cons of making a move to bring them to town.
C.J. Wilson - He's the biggest Major League free agent on the market, but he feels like an unlikely addition to the Yankees. He'll cost a lot for a pitcher who has thrown a ton of innings the last two years and might not profile to be so much better than other choices to justify the outlay of cash.
Yu Darvish - The Japanese righty is the biggest boom or bust guy available this offseason. Whatever their history with pitchers from Japan, you have to imagine the Yankees are interested although the possibility of safer options might make them pursue a more conservative route when it comes to actually making a bid for his services.
Mark Buehrle - Here's one of those safer options. Buehrle is an established top of the rotation pitcher who brings reliability in his left arm at the expense of much in the way of excitement. He'll be 33 when next season gets underway, so you wouldn't want to extend him too long a contract but he'd be a good choice for the next few years without affecting the team's ability to look for an upgrade.
John Danks - Buehrle's teammate is entering his walk year and there's some chatter that the White Sox want to excise his payroll. At 27, he'd be a long term answer and he's been a good, if not great, starter for the last four seasons. The question comes down to what it would cost in terms of prospects and whether the Yankees could land a bigger fish with what they have to offer.
Jair Jurrjens - The Braves are reportedly shopping him, which is both appealing and a bit vexing. It's appealing because he's 25 with a multi-year history of success in the big leagues and vexing for exactly the same reason. He'd cost a bit in a trade, but if the Yankees think his stuff translates to the American League (the lowish strikeout rate is a concern) he might be worth it.
Francisco Liriano - There's a long list of cons to consider with the Twins lefty, starting with his long injury history and poor 2011 season. But when he's right, Liriano has a great arm and shouldn't cost as much as the last two guys in a trade because of those cons. He'd be a gamble, but if the Yankees were to make multiple moves it might be a gamble worth taking.
Brandon McCarthy/Rich Harden - Two guys who were with the A's in 2011 and would be interesting low-risk acquisitions for the back end of the rotation. Both have struggled with injuries, but McCarthy was good all year last year and Harden had his moments while finishing with 9.9 strikeouts per nine innings. Neither one would elicit a parade upon arrival, but either one could be a useful piece should the Yankees eschew the pricier options.