The talks with all the teams are in the preliminary stages.
According to a baseball official, another of his former teams, the Minnesota Twins, have expressed interest in Santana. The other five teams are the Tampa Bay Rays, the Baltimore Orioles, the Kansas City Royals, the Milwaukee Brewers and the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Like other clubs, the Yankees could possibly offer Santana an incentive-laden non-roster invitee contract. Santana's agent Peter Greenberg has told teams Santana is interested in signing a contract now if a club separates itself from the pack. If not, Santana is expected to throw in January to showcase himself.
If he is willing to shave his facial hair, the Yankees could be a good match for Santana because they are in need of starters. As it stands right now, they have three starters in CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda and Ivan Nova. Joe Girardi confirmed Tuesday that Michael Pineda, David Phelps, Vidal Nuno and Adam Warren will compete for the fifth spot.
The Yankees would be players for Masahiro Tanaka, if he is posted. At this point, they are not in on the top MLB free-agent pitchers, but could go after someone like Paul Maholm.
Back in 2007, before the Twins traded the lefty to the Mets, the Yankees and Minnesota had talks for Santana. The Yankees were hesitant to give up Phil Hughes in a possible trade. This offseason, Hughes signed a three-year, $24 million deal with the Twins. Santana was not fully keen on the Yankees because he likes facial hair.
It is possible now that Santana could be a replacement for Hughes in the Bronx.
Under the proposed new rules, the club can receive a maximum bid of $20 million. In prior years, major league teams were able to offer as much as they wanted.
"We don't know if this is the right value for this type of trade," Rakuten assistant GM Aki Sasaki said in the lobby of the Swan & Dolphin Hotel.
If the system had remained the same, then Tanaka would have been posted. That decision was basically decided when Tanaka met with the team last year.
"He just expressed that his dream of playing the states," Sasaki said. "At that time, according to the posting system, we promised to him after the 2013 season when we will discuss your dream. Now, that the posting system has been changed."
If Rakuten doesn't post Tanaka, then they could do it next year. In two years, Tanaka can become a free agent without being posted.
The Yankees have interest in Tanaka.
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Joe Girardi made his State of the Winter Meetings address on Tuesday and he covered a number of subjects:
CANO WOES: Girardi basically confirmed a New York Post report that Robinson Cano was none too pleased about batting second at times during the Yankees' injury-plagued 2013.
"He didn't tell me he was unhappy, but there were things that I heard and I sat down and talked to him," Girardi said. "He was like, 'Whatever you need.'"
Girardi said he hoped the Yankees would keep Cano, but these things happen in the age of the 10-year deals.
"I'm sure St. Louis never thought they were going to lose Albert Pujols," Girardi said. "When someone throws that type of deal in front of you, it is hard to say no."
PINEDA HOPES: Girardi confirmed the fifth starter spot will be a spring training competition between Michael Pineda, David Phelps, Adam Warren and Vidal Nuno.
Pineda would figure to be the favorite, if healthy.
TEXT-ROD: Girardi said he has been texting with Alex Rodriguez. It is mostly just checking in to see how he is doing. Girardi said he didn't think the Yankees could minimize the distraction A-Rod would pose if he ever were to return to the team.
The decision on Rodriguez's appeal of his drug suspension is expected early next year.
COLLISION COURSE: MLB might rid the sport of home plate collisions, but Girardi doesn't necessarily think that is a good decision.
"I could go either way, but I still believe it is part of the game," Girardi said.
Girardi, a former catcher, said he played football and liked the contact.
Protection at third: Cashman has Kelly Johnson in the fold and feels he could play second or third. He would like to have a right-handed platoon and said Mark Reynolds is a possibility.
"We had a lot of hard 'triers' last year," Cashman said. "We need to improve on the results."
Reynolds has a career .834 OPS against lefties, while Johnson is a .759 OPS guy against righties. Johnson is a little better (.770) against lefties, but in nearly one-third of the at-bats.
No. 6 to be retired: Joe Torre made the Hall of Fame on Monday. On Tuesday, Cashman said Torre's No. 6 will be retired.
"We haven't given it out for a reason," he said. "It has been tucked away for quite some time. At some point, that will happen, no doubt about it."
Show me the money: Cashman said he would have taken the money, just like Robinson Cano did. Here is my news story.
A good offense is a good defense: Cashman said he wants to get back to being a high-scoring offense.
"I'm trying to get our offense to where we are used to having it," Cashman said. "The top two or three offenses in the game. We need more work."
The Yankees were 16th in runs scored in the majors last season.
Cashman thinks they will be better at first (Mark Teixeira), the outfield (Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran, pending all the fine details to work out) and catcher (Brian McCann).
Cashman said he doesn't know who will play second or third yet.
"It is still going to be a question mark at shortstop, even though we know who the player is," Cashman said in reference to Derek Jeter.
Gardner talks: Cashman said he is listening on trade proposals for Brett Gardner, but he is not alone.
"That boomerang came around quick," Cashman said. "Everybody's made phone calls on Gardy. We have an obligation to hear what anybody's interest happens to be, but we are not shopping him."
Cashman said teams are calling about Ivan Nova, Gary Sanchez and J.R. Murphy. Nova is the only one of three definite starters on the Yankees' roster right now, so it seems hard to move him. Sanchez and Murphy are both catchers that the Yankees like but could be used to sweeten the right deal.
Jacoby in left? I doubt it, but Cashman said that he and Joe Girardi haven't decided who would play center if Gardner remains. I would think it would be Ellsbury in center.
On $189M: It is evident that unless Alex Rodriguez's suspension is upheld, the Yankees are not going under $189 million. Cashman said to "go to the archives" and check Hal Steinbrenner's comments, implying that $189 million has only been a goal, not a mandate.
Pineda & Banuelos: Michael Pineda is "healthy," but Cashman doesn't know what they will see. Manny Banuelos, coming off Tommy John surgery, is slated for Triple-A.
Pineda will compete for the No. 5 spot in spring, while Banuelos, at best, could be up late in 2013. He is more likely a 2015 starting candidate. Banuelos turns just 23 in March.
Here's Grandy's full quote:
"A lot of the people I've met in New York have always said true New Yorkers are Mets fans. So I'm excited to get a chance to see them all out there."
Do you agree with the people Grandy has met? Or do you doubt their sentiments (or his)?
Vote in our poll and sound off in the comments section!
The Yankees need a second baseman and Murphy can play the position, but, as of now, nothing to see here.
Yankees reception: Brian Cashman spent a couple of hours Monday at the Yankees reception here in Florida, which a source said was quite nice. So Cashman did have some trade talks on Monday, but he was also preoccupied with the dinner.
That said, with cell phones and emails, etc., the importance of the Winter Meetings for GMs have been a bit overstated. They talk all the time -- before, during and after.
However, with Christmas around the corner, players do want to know where they can be so it is still a marker for finalizing some business.
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- If the Yankees are going to make one more big buzz move, it will likely be for Masahiro Tanaka. That is, if Tanaka is posted.
There are MLB officials who think Tanaka's team, the Rakuten Golden Eagles, will post him even if they are dissatisfied with the $20 million maximum posting fee, while there are others who think they won't and will instead keep him for one or two more years.
Well, everything could become a little clearer as Rakuten's president Yozo Tachibana is going to arrive here at the Swan & Dolphin Hotel, according to Yahoo Sports.
If Tanaka is posted, the Yankees will be big players for him and, with the $189 million goal looking less and less likely, they may just blow everyone else away.
NEEDS: Yankees GM Brian Cashman is scheduled to meet with the media at some point this afternoon. Since Cashman didn't arrive until mid-afternoon on Monday, he didn't talk. He and his team were holed up in their suite, looking into trades for Brett Gardner, among others.
Still, it is hard to see how the Yankees don't dip back into free agency with holes to fill at second, third and in the pitching staff. Plus, you never know, they might decide they need a seventh outfielder.
THE BINDER: Each manager speaks at the winter meetings. At 4:30 p.m., Joe Girardi will step up to the mic. It will be the first time he has talked since Robinson Cano left.
GRANDY MAN: Curtis Granderson will be introduced as a Met at 12:30 p.m. here.
WHAT DO YOU THINK: The Yankees have been in on Omar Infante, but Brian Roberts hasn't been associated with them.
#Yankees have talked to Brian Roberts agent. Could just be kicking the ol' tires. I hear they need a second baseman.— Roch Kubatko (@masnRoch) December 9, 2013
Roberts, 36, meets the age requirement, but he is not nearly as durable as Cano. His 77 games played in 2013 were the most for him since 2009.
SIMON SAYS: Our colleage Mark Simon chimes in with this nugget:
Frank Lary earned the nickname “Yankee-killer”for his success against the team in the 1950s and 1960s. Lary was 28-13 with a 3.32 ERA in his career against a Yankees dynasty facing the likes of Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra and other Yankees legends.
In addition to being a great pitcher, Roy Halladay, who retired on Monday, was this generation’s Frank Lary, the premier Yankees killer of the past 20 seasons. He went 18-7 with a 2.98 ERA against the Yankees from 1999 to 2010. That included a stretch from 2003 to 2009 in which he won 13 of 15 decisions, including a one-hit shutout, a two-hit shutout and a three-hit shutout.
With Halladay retired, who now holds the title? We’ve got a few names in mind. The most natural of those is Felix Hernandez, but the Yankees have gotten him a few times. He’s 8-5 with a 2.89 ERA against them, with a pair of two-hit shutouts in Yankee Stadium.
A.J. Burnett (6-3 with a 2.43 ERA) would be another possibility, but he could retire (or end up in the National League with the Pirates again). A good sleeper choice is Alex Cobb of the Tampa Bay Rays, who is 4-1 with a 2.01 ERA in seven starts over the past three seasons.
And then there’s Oliver Perez, who doesn’t start any more, but has a dominant history against the Yankees. He’s 6-1 with a 2.22 ERA in 48 2/3 innings pitched against them, with most of that damage coming as a member of the Mets.
Cashman knows that his best trade chip is Gardner. He is really the player that could provide the greatest return. Still, it is unclear if he could even bring back someone as good as Homer Bailey.
Cashman wants to add another starter, reliever, as well as a second and third baseman. He will likely need to dip back into free agency (Omar Infante and Paul Maholm) for some help.
Sources have told ESPN New York, it is unlikely the Yankees will dip into the high-end free agent pitching market (not including Masahiro Tanaka).
Cashman would love to deal Ichiro, but at $6.5 million the Yankees would have to eat some salary. Surprisingly enough, at that price, there is not that much of a market for 40-year-old outfielders who have barely any power and a .297 on-base percentage. The Giants, who sometimes do weird stuff, are rumored to have some interest. That is unconfirmed.
SILENT NIGHT: Cashman did not talk to the media on Monday. Cashman arrived a bit later than most of the GMs because he rappelled on Sunday night in Stamford, CT. My guess is he didn't have much new to say and he wanted to get to work instead of talking to schlubs like me.
Joe Girardi: "Joe was a tremendous manager, and this is such a richly deserved honor. I was incredibly fortunate to have played and coached for Joe, and I learned so many nuances into managing from him. The first thing I think of is how much of an importance he placed on developing and cultivating relationships. Not only with players, but with everyone he came in contact with. It's something that was the bedrock for his success."
Derek Jeter: "Mr. Torre is like a second father to me. I learned so much from him, but what sticks with me the most is the way he treated everyone with respect and fairness. In my opinion, it was his greatest attribute. I can't think of anyone more deserving of this honor."
Mariano Rivera: "I could not be more proud. What made him special was that he was always there to support his players, to offer encouragement. And if he saw something he didn't like, he'd be the first to pull you aside and let you know, but he did it with class. Joe let us enjoy the game. When you have a manager like that, you play with love and good things happen. As a player, that's all you can ever ask for."
Andy Pettitte: "I'm so excited for Joe. In many ways, he was the pulse of all those championship teams. The one thing about Joe is that he never panicked, and that type of calm demeanor allowed us to go out and do the things we were capable of doing. He was a great teacher and father figure to all of us."
Jorge Posada: "I'm so happy for Joe and his family. He was our leader and he was also our security blanket. When I played for Joe, I felt like he was my dad. We played the game with respect and honor, and we took those qualities from him. He's one of the immortals now."
"I think it was a mistake," Levine told ESPN New York by telephone. "I congratulate Joe Torre, Bobby Cox and Tony La Russa. All of them were thoroughly deserving but I think there is no doubt that George Steinbrenner was one of the greatest figures in the history of baseball. He, more than anybody, deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. I fully expect he will be one day."
Steinbrenner's credentials will be re-evaluated in three years when the committee next votes. He needs to receive 12 of 16 votes. He picked up six or fewer votes this year.
In a statement released by the team, Hal Steinbrenner did not address his father's failure to be voted in, but applauded Joe Torre for being unanimously elected.
“On behalf of the Steinbrenner family and our entire organization, I’d like to congratulate Joe Torre on his induction today into the Hall of Fame,” Hal said. “Joe led our team during one of the most successful runs in our storied history, and he did it with a quiet dignity that was true to the Yankee way. Joe’s place in Yankees history has been secure for quite some time and it is appropriate that he now gets to take his place among the greats in Cooperstown.”
Shortly after being released from a South African prison, Mandela attended an anti-apartheid rally and concert at old Yankee Stadium. He donned a Yankees hat and jacket and declared, "You know who I am. I am a Yankee."
The team is expected to make an official announcement on Monday. Mandela died last week at age 95.
Click here to read the rest of the story.
"He made my professional career," Torre said Monday. "I played for 18 years. The only thing that meant anything to me was the World Series. To be able to do it and repeat. It is never the same. You always do it a different way and you do it with different people. To have George give me that opportunity, even when I said goodbye that day in his office [in 2008] and he was failing somewhat, he is the first one I went over and said goodbye to. He had tears in his eyes and I did, too. It was just one of those things, it was time to go away, but I had a great relationship with him."
Torre said he did not obsess about getting in, but it hit him "like a sledgehammer" when he found out.
"Sometimes you believe what you hear," Torre said. "People said, 'Don't worry about it.' 'Yeah, that is what they said when I was up 3-nothing against the Red Sox. Don't worry about it.' You hope. You hope. I saw the committee. It is not that the committee are friends of mine, but the committee are baseball people. Again, if it didn't happen, I would've respected their decision. Like I said, I never obsessed about it. It wasn't until I was told and I was congratulated about being in, did it really hit me."
Bernie Williams was among the first former Yankees to congratulate Steinbrenner on Twitter.
Congrats Joe Torre on election to @baseballhall of Fame. Joe It was a privilege & honor to play for you all those years. So well deserved!— Bernie Williams (@bw51official) December 9, 2013
THE YANKEE YEARS: When Torre arrived in New York in 1996, he was welcomed by the now famous Daily News back page that read "Clueless Joe." He left as a Hall of Fame manager.
In his first 15 years as a manager before being hired by Steinbrenner, Torre did not have a Hall of Fame record, going 894-1,003 with the New York Mets, Atlanta Braves and St. Louis Cardinals. But that all changed when he hooked up with Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte et al, allowing him to win the New York Yankees' first World Series after an 18-year drought. That 1996 championship -- Torre's first as a player or manager -- was followed by three more memorable titles. His record was 1173-767 with the Yankees, including six AL pennants.
Torre probably didn't change much as a manager from his years with lesser clubs, but his steady hand during the Steinbrenner era gave those teams a calm through all the soap operas of a baseball summer in the city. Payroll advantage or not, it is incredible that the Yankees made the playoffs each and every year of his dozen seasons.
By comparison, Joe Girardi has done a fine job, but in his first six years as the Yankees' manager, he has missed the playoffs twice.
The committee considered his playing career, but they made it clear that he is being elected as a Hall of Fame manager.
TOO MUCH CREDIT: During Torre's championship tenure in the Bronx, tension developed between The Boss and Torre over the amount of credit the manager received. The Boss felt as if he saved the managerial career of Torre, providing him with great players and transforming him from "Clueless Joe" into a champion. Today's announcement makes for an interesting backdrop.
THE BOSS' CASE: The Steinbrenner family will have to wait another three years before George can be elected into the Hall. Steinbrenner was an overwhelming force in baseball, helping to revitalize the Yankees into champions. However, he was twice suspended from baseball. Upon the second time for the Howie Spira-Dave Winfield incident, the Yankee Stadium fans cheered.
When Steinbrenner returned, he, Torre and the Jeter/Rivera core turned the Yankees back into a dynasty. Still, The Boss is a tough Hall of Fame case to figure out because though he is an iconic figure, is he a Hall of Famer? In 2013, the committee said no, giving him fewer than six votes when he needed at least 12 out of 16 to get in.
QUESTION: What do you think of the voting?
"It hits you like a sledgehammer," Torre said. "I can't tell you how excited I am."
Bobby Cox and Tony La Russa were also elected. All three were unanimous selections.
Steinbrenner received less than six votes, a nominee needed 12 of 16 to qualify.
The press conference is going on right now. We will have more on the story soon.
Feel free to discuss in the comments in the meantime.
By this time next week, Brett Gardner very well could be an ex-Yankee. We wrote a story about the Yankees engaging in trade talks on Saturday.
There are several reasons why Gardner will be dealt. Some are obvious, some not as much. So let's go through them.
A) BOURN IDENTITY: The Yankees may be able to maximize Gardner's long-term franchise to the value by trading him.
When Michael Bourn was a free agent a year ago, there was not that much interest in him because he had a qualifying offer attached to him. Teams liked him, but did not want to give up a first round pick. Finally, he signed a four-year, $48 million contract with the Cleveland Indians -- who after finishing as one of the 10 worst teams in MLB the previous year -- did not have to surrender a first rounder.
The Yankees think that Gardner is a very similar to Bourn. They loved the fact that they only paid him $2.85 million in 2013. This season, in a year he will turn 31, he will probably make around $4 million.
The Yanks have decided that Gardner is a corner outfielder so next offseason, are they going to offer him the one-year qualifier that will be $14.1 million? If they did that, he could possibly accept it, because it is quite the increase. He may look at Bourn's experience and just go year-to-year with a huge raise in '15.
If Gardner has a good, but not great, year with the Yankees in 2014, the Yankees may decide not to extend him a qualifying offer. If he left as a free agent, they would get nothing.
So to maximize Gardner's value to the Yankees for over the next several years, the move might be to trade him.
B) WHO ELSE DO THEY HAVE TO DEAL? At the Triple-A level, they don't have any major players to deal. At the lower levels, they have some prospects (Gary Sanchez, Tyler Austin, Mason Williams, etc.), but all are coming off poor years and the Yankees want to hang on to them -- to develop them for themselves or to eventually deal.
On the major league level, there is nothing expect for Gardner, Ivan Nova and David Robertson. But Nova is the No. 3 starter and Robertson is the likely closer.
C) OBEE-WON JACOBY: The Yankees just signed Jacoby Ellsbury. He and Gardner are very similar players, but the Yankees clearly think Ellsbury is superior. With Carlos Beltran also signed, the Yankees could have a platoon situation with Alfonso Soriano and Ichiro Suzuki, rotating the three old-timers in the outfield. Beltran would play every day, while Soriano, until proven otherwise, would play a lot as a DH/OF.
Vernon Wells is also still on the team, right now.
D) HE COULD STAY: The Yankees do like Gardner so maybe he forms a dynamic duo with Ellsbury. But the more I think about it, the less I see that happening.
2) THE BOSS & TORRE IN THE HALL?: The Winter Meetings will get started with some news at 10 a.m. when the Expansion Era Committe will announce if Joe Torre and George Steinbrenner are worthy of the Hall of Fame. The committee denied The Boss three years ago. Torre will have to compete with Bobby Cox and Tony La Russa to get in as a manager. Should be interesting.
3) TANAKA TIME: Now, there are some indications that Masahiro Tanaka might be posted. The Yankees would be big suitors for him if he were. Ben Badler of Baseball America thinks that if the new agreement topping the posting fees at $20 million is put in place, then Tanaka's team might still let him go.
Rakuten Eagles president Yozo Tachibana spoke with the Japanese media, including Nikkan Sports and Jiji Press. The highlights of Tachibana's comments include:
" If Tanaka wants to go to MLB, they would like to let him leave
" It is questionable whether the $20 million posting fee cap is a fair price for his value
" The Eagles had valued Tanaka's posting price beyond $20 million
" Convincing Tanaka to stay is a high priority
So they want Tanaka to stay because the fee is too low, but if he wants to go they may let him. Very respectful. We'll see.
4) INFANTE ON-DECK: The Yankees like Omar Infante for second or third, but so do others.
5) THE TALK OF BASEBALL: Robinson Cano is headed to Seattle and an explosive article in the Seattle Times makes the franchise into a total joke. Here is one anecdote:
The sources say Wedge implored Zduriencik to stand up to unreasonable demands, like Lincoln and Armstrong wanting Felix Hernandez and other pitchers to throw live batting practice between starts so position players could work on bunting and situational hitting.
Or wanting more early fielding work last September, which Wedge refused because team trainers warned too many players were worn out.
Maybe they'll pick up that idea again next season. King Felix vs. Cano would be must-watch. Anyway, Geoff Baker did a sensational job on this story, you should check it out here.
Final New York 94 Cleveland 109 Final Boston 96 Brooklyn 104
Final Nashville 4 NY Rangers 1 Final/SO NY Islanders 3 San Jose 2 Final New Jersey 4 Columbus 5
7:00 PM ET Columbus NY Rangers 9:00 PM ET NY Islanders Phoenix
7:00 PM ET Montreal NY Islanders 7:00 PM ET Tampa Bay New Jersey