Source: It is about the money with Kuroda

December, 22, 2011
12/22/11
11:12
AM ET
It is about the money.

The Yankees are still unlikely to do anything major this offseason unless they can unload some money, a baseball official with knowledge of their plans. So even though they like Hiroki Kuroda a lot, Yankees GM Brian Cashman does not have the cash to spend on the righty starter. Kuroda figures to receive at least $12 million on a one-year deal.

Feeling they have five starters in CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova, Phil Hughes, A.J. Burnett and Freddy Garcia, that is not in Cashman's budget. The Yankees already have commitments that will put their 2012 payroll in the $185-$200M range.

So how does something big happen? Well, there are probably two options. One would be to trade Burnett, freeing up money. The Yankees, according to the New York Post, were willing to eat $8 million of the $33 million remaining on the final two years of Burnett's contract. They probably would have to swallow $15-20 million, maybe more, to get teams really interested.

They could also deal Nick Swisher, which could pave the way for the signing of Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes. Right now, the Yankees really aren't expected to be in on Cespedes because they don't have the payroll flexibility to add a $30-$50M player. The Yankees like Cespedes, but, at this point it doesn't seem it is enough for Cashman to go to Hal Steinbrenner and ask for more dough.

So barring Cashman going to Steinbrenner for more allowance, the only way for the Yankees to make a big move is to make a big trade. Since Cashman has been talking about these players all offseason and nothing has been close, it seems unlikely anything big happens. But things change. Remember Aaron Boone?
Andrew Marchand is a senior writer for ESPNNewYork. He also regularly contributes to SportsCenter, Baseball Tonight, ESPNews, ESPN New York 98.7 FM and ESPN Radio. He joined ESPN in 2007 after nine years at the New York Post. Follow Andrew on Twitter »

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Jacoby Ellsbury
BA HR RBI R
.271 16 70 71
OTHER LEADERS
HRB. McCann 23
RBIB. McCann 75
RB. Gardner 87
OPSB. Gardner .749
WM. Tanaka 13
ERAH. Kuroda 3.71
SOH. Kuroda 146