Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that Austin Romine is “very much available”. Even after trading Chris Stewart to the Pirates, the Yankees find themselves with five catchers on the 40-man roster. Brian McCann and Francisco Cervelli project to be on the 25-man roster, while Gary Sanchez will likely return to Double-A in 2014. This leaves the team with both JR Murphy and Austin Romine competing for a spot in Scranton. The Yankees still have a number of needs to address this winter, so if one of Romine or Murphy can help them obtain an infielder or pitcher, a trade makes a ton of sense.
In that same report by Cafardo, he links Ubaldo Jimenez to the Yankees. He hears from GM’s that even if the Yankees land Masahiro Tanaka, Jimenez makes sense for the team and his personality would be a good fit for New York. The team was linked to Jimenez earlier this winter, and Cashman almost traded for Jimenez in July of 2011. After velocity declines and awful 2011 and 2012 seasons, Jimenez returned in 2013 with an incredible rebound, posting a 3.30 ERA and 9.6 K/9 in 32 starts with the Indians.
It’s no secret that ownership is unhappy with the state of the farm system. With the Yankees spending so much money on free agency this offseason, reports say that they will continue this spending and disregard the international spending pools outlined by the new CBA. The team plans on spending between $12 million to $15 million dollars once the international free agent market opens up on July 2nd of 2014. This would be enough money to land a huge chunk of the 2014 class, but it will result in a 100% tax on any money more than 15% of their pool (likely around $2.5 million). It will also prevent them from signing any players above a $300,000 signing bonus over the following 2 years.