Jason Giambi wants to keep playing

There are some dreams I will never give up until they are honestly and truly dead and buried, and my hope of one day seeing Jason Giambi don Yankee pinstripes is one of those dreams. Giambi was seriously considered for the vacant managerial position in Colorado this offseason, but he lost out to Walt Weiss, and now Troy Renck reports that Giambi wants to play another season, and is willing to take a Minor League contract to make it happen. The Yankees have an opening for a left-handed DH, and though he didn’t really produce last year, Giambi hit .273/.354/.636. I don’t know if he has anything left in the tank at this point, but no one is going to seriously regret giving him an invite to camp to check him out, and I can spend a little bit more time dreaming of the Giambino attacking the Yankee Stadium bleachers once again.

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Heyman: Soriano never approached Yankees

Some reports over the last week have had it that Scott Boras recently approached the Yankees about re-signing Rafael Soriano to a one year deal, as their interim closer has found the free agent market rather lacking after declining a qualifying offer from the Bombers. The Yankees supposedly turned him down flat, preferring to earn a compensation pick and additional draft pool money to adding Soriano to an already well stocked bullpen, but Jon Heyman now says none of that ever happened, and that Soriano wants to be a closer this coming season:

The usual caveats about Soriano being a Boras client obviously apply here, but there you have it.

Elsewhere, ESPN New York’s Andrew Marchand says that the Yankees haven’t actually shut the door on a Soriano return entirely, and that there is (at least theoretically) a point at which Soriano could bring his demands low enough that the Yankees would be willing to welcome him back.…

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Nats shopping Morse after re-signing LaRoche

After weeks of piddling around on the free agent market, Adam LaRoche finally accepted the fact that no one wanted to meet his asking price after he turned down a qualifying offer and re-signed with the Washington Nationals. Between that and trading for Denard Span, that leaves Michael Morse on the outside of their starting lineup and available in potential trades. Mark Zuckerman of Comcast Sports tweets that Morse is “very much” available, and that the Nationals would seek a left-handed reliever and/or starting pitching depth in return.

Morse honestly isn’t much of an outfielder, but as a power-hitting righty who has hit southpaws to the tune of a career line of .303/.357/.503, he carries a big enough stick to be a perfect fit for the Yankees right now. Picking him up for a package built around Boone Logan or Clay Rapada would be something of a dream, but starting pitching depth isn’t necessarily something the Yankees have to offer right now, and you can rest assured that they will not be the only team interested in acquiring Morse’s services.…

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Hairston likely to make decision soon, Yankees “pessimistic”

Though they’ve acquired both Matt Diaz and Russ Canzler in recent weeks, the Yankees’ search for a right-handed hitting outfielder marches on. The top spot on their wish list remains former Met Scott Hairston, and via ESPN New York, it appears that a decision on where he will be signing could be coming from Hairston this week. According to Wallace Matthews, Hairston’s agent, Casey Close, said the outfielder is likely to make a decision in a “matter of days.”

Hairston is pretty much a straight platoon hitter with a career .825 OPS against lefties, but he does bring a bit of versatility in the outfield to the table, anyway. He had a career year for the Mets in 2012 and attempted to parlay that into a multi-year contract this winter, but given how long he’s lingered on the market I assume he hasn’t found anyone willing to make that sort of commitment to him, and may well find himself taking the best one year offer he can get.…

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Yankees not interested in Thome

The Yankees are looking for a DH to help round out their roster, but according to Mark Hale they aren’t interested in Jim Thome‘s services. Thome has always been a little bit of a white whale for me, as his pull-side power profiles beautifully for the short porch at Yankee Stadium, but that ship has probably sailed due to age. Injuries limited Thome to 58 games between Philadelphia and Baltimore last season, and Thome hit just .257/.348/.396 for the Orioles. He’ll be 42 this season, assuming he doesn’t retire, so I can’t say I blame the Yankees for passing on him, even if I am disappointed that he never got to play in pinstripes.

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Yankees unlikely to re-sign Soriano

With Rafael Soriano languishing on the free agent market as teams blanch at the prospect of giving up a draft pick (or, more accurate, the signing pool money associated with that pick), there’s been an undertone in the rumor mill that his most likely landing spot for the 2013 would be back in the Bronx. I’m a little bit skeptical of that, both because I think the Yankees will be happy to wait out the market and see what pick they’ll get as compensation when Soriano inevitably signs a deal somewhere, and (more notably) because the Yankees don’t really have an opening in the bullpen with Mariano Rivera and Joba Chamberlain both healthy. That’s a sentiment apparently shared by Brian Cashman as well. “I cannot talk about players on the free-agent market,” Cashman said. “But I am not looking for bullpen help, I can tell you that.”

And before you throw out the surprise signing of Soriano back in 2011, remember that the Yankees didn’t have an elite set up man like David Robertson at the time, and at the beginning of the season Robertson was merely a nondescript middle reliever who got most of his action warming up in the bullpen.…

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Yankees have reached out to Berkman

Via Dan Martin, the Yankees “have been in contact” with free agent Lance Berkman about joining the team for the upcoming season. Berkman, who had a rather astounding bounce back season back in 2011 when he hit .301/.412/.547 with 31 home runs for St. Louis, was limited to just 32 games thanks to knee surgery in 2012, and was reportedly contemplating retirement as a result. Puma is said to prefer staying close to his Texas home, and the Rangers do have a standing offer out to him, so it’s not clear the Yankees are even doing much other than perhaps making the Rangers’ life a little bit more difficult (especially since Berkman is pretty much just a DH who hits better from the left-side of the plate which, though they have an opening for that, is not their top priority at the moment).

Berkman is notoriously not a fan of the American League nor the designated hitter, and with the exception of a few months spent with the Yankees back in 2010, his entire career has been spent in the senior circuit.…

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Marlins willing to trade Stanton

Well, this is pretty much inevitable. According to MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro the Marlins will listen to trade offers on Giancarlo Stanton. They’re being careful to say that they’re just following a policy of listening to all offers and aren’t actively shopping their only remaining Major Leaguer best player, but there’s no real reason to even acknowledge that publicly if you aren’t willing to part with him for a plausible offer. The Marlins tore up the core of their team with that big trade with Toronto in November, and although they could keep the super cheap Stanton around as a reason for people to buy tickets, it also makes sense to dangle him for a super-package of prospects to continue to aid the rebuilding process. Plus, Stanton took his displeasure with that trade public on Twitter, and Jeffrey Loria is the sort of petty tyrant who doesn’t take kindly to being challenged by the hired riff-raff.

Not that you should get your hopes up about seeing Stanton in pinstripes any time soon.…

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Are sign and trades coming to baseball?

On Monday, Buster Olney devoted his column to wondering if the qualifying offer had proved to be a big disaster for free agents who declined the offer sheet from their teams. Olney starts by noting that the market for Nick Swisher was apparently a bit thin, as teams other than Cleveland were hesitant to forfeit a first round pick to sign Swish (the Indians have a protected first rounder, so they’re giving up a mere second round pick), and also points out that Michael Bourn, Kyle Lohse, and Rafael Soriano are all also seeing their markets come together slowly after declining qualifying offers from their teams.

I’m a little bit skeptical of that take, only because of the three players involved. On the one hand, each is the sort of player that seems to always seems to get more money than they’re worth as one or two GMs significantly over-values them, so perhaps we’re merely seeing a sort of market correction whereby no one really wants to meet their asking price(s).…

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