Source: Jon Heyman, CBS Sports
Yankees managing partner Hal Steinbrenner and top Yankees executives are lining up meetings at next week’s General Manager meetings with agents for multiple big-name free agents, showing strong signs they’ll be back as big-time free-agent players.
The Yankees have to be considered the favorite to retain star second baseman Robinson Cano, but they are also looking closely as the four players just below Cano on this year’s agent list — Jacoby Ellsbury, Shin-Soo Choo, Masahiro Tanaka and Brian McCann — and maybe a dozen players, or more, overall.
Also on the Yankees’ expansive list for interest are shortstop Stephen Drew and pitchers Matt Garza, Ubaldo Jimenez, Bronson Arroyo, Scott Feldman and Dan Haren. One big free-agent name conspicuously absent from their list of top targets is pitcher Ervin Santana, as people who have talked to the Yankees said they aren’t convinced he’s right for New York.
Word is the Yankees still believe they can keep get their payroll below the luxury-tax threshold of $189 million, thanks to $100 million or so in contracts coming off the books, depending to a fair degree on the status of Alex Rodriguez’s PED arbitration case vs. MLB.