One of the best, and frankly worst things about the Winter Meetings is the influx of rumors that swirl around. They can change from moment to moment and can be realistic or really out there and this year’s rumor mill is no exception. As of this morning some of the names mentioned with regards to the Bronx as a possible destination have been Justin Masterson, Joaquin Benoit and Johan Santana.
It is not surprising news that the Yankees need pitching, both in the bullpen and in the rotation, and GM Brian Cashman has stated that the Yankees will probably make a move or two with regards to the spots left by guys like Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain and most importantly, Mariano Rivera. And as Brad wrote this morning, with Masahiro Tanaka stuck in posting limbo, the Yankees may have to make a move soon.
First up, Justin Masterson: I woke up to the Masterson rumor. It was just something people were throwing around that stated the Yankees may be interested in Masterson but that a third team and Brett Gardner would probably have to be involved for the deal to even be thought about. Masterson wouldn’t be a bad acquisition and he’s coming off a pretty strong 2013 season.
The only problem with him is that he matches up better against righties than lefties.
Split G PA AB R H HR BB SO SO/BB BA OBP SLG OPS TB BAbip tOPS+ sOPS+ vs RHB as RHP 32 309 275 18 50 3 22 99 4.50 .182 .267 .240 .507 66 .272 62 50 vs LHB as RHP 32 494 428 52 106 10 54 96 1.78 .248 .340 .357 .698 153 .296 123 90
Another name being tossed about is Joaquin Benoit. Now this is an interesting case because for the first time since I was in my early 20′s and still carefree, the Yankees don’t have a set closer coming into Spring Training. Not that Benoit would fill that role, he may actually prefer not to. And when you think about it, filling Mariano Rivera‘s shoes is an extremely large task. Asking someone who would also be new to the team to do so may be too much. Benoit pitched pretty well for the Tigers last season but will unfarily be known as the guy who gave up the grand slam to David Ortiz in the 2013 ALCS.
And lastly, we have Johan Santana. The Yankees reportedly aren’t the only team interested in the 34-year-old but he is coming off his second shoulder surgery in three years and it would be extremely risky to make a move for him. And as amusing as it would be to finally have him on the pitching staff the same year the Yankee finally rid themselves of Phil Hughes, it’s about eight years too late.
It’s possible none of these rumors will pan out but it’s always fun to speculate.