MLB's Winter Meetings have officially begun in San Diego, and the Yankees are expected to be among those extremely active in upgrading their 2020 roster. Here are the latest rumors for today...
Dec. 9, 10:17 PM:
As the Yankees continue to pursue Gerrit Cole, who will land the richest contract in baseball history whenever he signs, it now seems like the team is looking to alleviate some of that financial burden.
According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post and confirmed by SNY's Andy Martino, the Yankees are actively shopping veteran starter JA Happ, with the focus still squarely on acquiring Cole.
Happ, 37, could draw interest from teams in need of a left-handed starter, but his 2019 performance could keep some teams away. In 31 appearances (30 starts) Happ pitched to a 4.91 ERA. In just 161.1 innings, the lefty pitched to a 1.295 ERA. He also allowed a whopping 34 home runs.
Happ is currently in the second year of a two-year, $34 million deal. His contract also has a $17 million option for 2021 that automatically vests if he pitches 165.0 innings or makes 27 starts in 2020.
Dec. 9, 2:55 PM:
Stephen Strasburg is now the new record holder for the largest contract ever shelled out to a starting pitcher, as he returns to the Nationals for seven years and $245 million, per ESPN's Jeff Passan. That's an insane $35 million per season.
Though he wasn't at the same level of intrigue as Gerrit Cole, Strasburg was an option for the Yankees. Now that he's signed this massive deal, though, it could greatly impact the Yankees' pursuit of Cole, who should garner a bigger payday than Strasburg.
Dec. 9, 2:07 PM:
Brett Gardner is a free agent once again, and after a solid season at the dish as well as the field, teams are interested in adding him.
According to MLB Network's Jon Heyman, "a couple teams" have shown interest in Gardner on a multi-year deal. However, Gardner's allegiance to the Yankees hasn't wavered, with Heyman saying he "prefers to remain a Yankee."
The Yanks signed him to a one-year deal last season, and they may want to do that again. So, if teams are willing to offer multi-year deals, we'll see if that want to stay in New York remains the same.
Dec. 9, 12:34 PM:
Gerrit Cole is the big fish in the free agent waters, and the Yankees are considered a top contender to land arguably the best pitcher in the MLB. According to SNY's Andy Martino, New York's main competition will be the Angels for Cole's services next year.
The Dodgers are also still in the mix, but Martino doesn't seem them as their main competition.
Dec. 9, 11:20 AM:
Madison Bumgarner is a man the Yankees could target if they don't land Cole, and USA TODAY's Bob Nightengale believes he'll be looking for a pretty lucrative deal.
Much like Zack Wheeler's deal with the Phillies, Bumgarner is aiming for a five-year deal worth $100 million or more. Wheeler's was $118 million in Philadelphia, and given Bumgarner's track record especially in the postseason, he should garner that type of contract.
Dec. 9, 9:39 AM:
Didi Gregorius, who Brian Cashman said he has been in discussion with, is looking for a multi-year deal around $14-15 million per season, per MLB Network's Jon Heyman.
SNY's Andy Martino reported later doesn't believe the Yankees would shell out that much to bring back the veteran shortstop. They have Gleyber Torres ready to shift to his natural position, and wouldn't want to put that much money down on Gregorius despite his production since taking over for Derek Jeter.