After being ahead of the pack on the qualifying offer situations yesterday, Mark Feinsand continued his hot streak with a report late last night that the Yankees are not planning on going after the top crop of free agents (Max Scherzer, Jon Lester, James Shields, Pablo Sandoval) this offseason. Feinsand, so hot right now. Feinsand.
"According to a source, the Yankees have no plans to pursue either Scherzer or Lester, the top two free agents on the market this winter. Shields, the third-best free-agent starter, is also off the Bombers’ radar, as is Sandoval, the Giants’ postseason hero who was given a $15.3 million qualifying offer by San Francisco before Monday’s deadline."
The report also names Brandon McCarthy and Chase Headley as 2 players the Yankees will try to bring back, which comes as no surprise. It seemed like this was the route the team was planning on taking when the regular season ended, and the amount of money already committed to the 2015 payroll made pursuing the aforementioned big money guys extremely unlikely.
I've said my pieces on McCarthy and Headley already, and I would welcome both of them back on shorter deals. But at this moment I'm not sure if I completely like the decision to pass on the big money guys. When you think back to some of the head-scratching comments from front office members about Beltran and Teix rebounding next year and A-Rod coming back to contribute, this plan comes across as more of the same old Yankee status quo decision making- have misguided faith in your declining veteran core and fill in the gaps around them. That plan hasn't worked at all over the last 2 seasons. If somebody like Lester or Sandoval is interested in coming to New York, don't you at least owe it to your organization to talk to them and see what kind of deal it would take to land them?
At the same time, I'm not sure the money and years would be worth the risk associated with any of the 4 guys mentioned in Feinsand's report. As William detailed earlier, there are plenty of parallels between Scherzer and pitchers like Justin Verlander and CC, and those 2 guys have fallen off big time in the last 2 years. For now, I'll take solace in the fact that the Yankees appear to be minimizing their risk this offseason and wait to see how things come together with McCarthy and Headley.