There are many exciting thoughts early on in the hot stove season, though not much has happened. So far Kuroda, Cano, and Granderson have declined the qualifying offers, as they were expected to, and are now free agents. The Yankees continue to be linked to Japanese pitching phenom Masahiro Tanaka. The posting system is an interesting exercise as it is essentially a blind bid, which requires theatricality and deception to win as opposed to calculated business processes. However, blind bidding is something the Yankees are experts in, as it has seemingly been their strategy on the amateur draft for over a decade. The Yankees stated that they would like to add 400 innings to their rotation, and Tanaka may be the best bet to do so without effecting the payroll limit the Yankees are trying to reach. The posting fee would not apply towards the total payroll. If Tanaka can eat up 200 innings, the Yankees could try to bring back Kuroda to fill the other innings. If that fails, there are some intriguing possibilities. Following the strategy of signing formerly hated Red Sox players, the Yankees could go after Bronson Arroyo, a perennial innings eater who may not break the bank. Another intriguing possibility is looking to conduct a trade with the Tigers. Detroit is allegedly open to trading either Max Scherzer or Rick Porcello. It is yet to be seen if the Yankees can lure Detroit into a trade with their wasteland of a farm system, but if Scott Boras could convince the Mets on the merits of Oliver Perez, perhaps the Yankees could sell Detroit on the come back story of the Killer B's.
On the bad news front, Cashman has already begun to lay the groundwork for being outbid on Cano. He didn't say anything that we didn't already know. Basically that another team could pay Cano a lot more than the Yankees are willing to offer, and Cano may choose to follow the money, which is certainly his right. The Yankees could also be out of range on Shin-Soo Choo. He will likely command a good contract with many years, and with Boras by his side, it is unlikely that he will come at a bargain. Beltran seems like a more likely fit. These are just some of the musings on the free agent market. We will see what transpires next!