MLB Team Report - New York Yankees - INSIDE PITCH
The Yankees got Yankeed by another team on Robinson Cano.
After years of flexing their financial muscles to commandeer star players from other organizations, the Yankees were sizably outbid by the Seattle Mariners and lost All-Star second baseman Robinson Cano. He landed a 10-year contract worth $240 million, far exceeding the Bombers' best offer of seven years and $175 million.
"I didn't want to let Robbie go. We gave him our best bullet, the $175 (million) for seven and someone took him from us for a lot more," Cashman said. "It's just the nature of the beast.
"If the numbers are right, he had 240 million reasons why he should go to Seattle. If I was him, I would have done the same thing."
Club president Randy Levine told the New York Daily News the Yankees were wary of going to 10 years on Cano or any other player after signing third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who still is awaiting an appeal ruling on his 211-game PED suspension, to a 10-year, $275 million deal in 2007.
"I think Robinson Cano was a great Yankee. We did everything we could to try and bring him back," Levine said. "We think he's a great player. That's a lot of money. It's a really rich package. He did a lot better. We wish him the best. We tried. If $175 million isn't trying hard, I don't know what is."
Before and after losing Cano, the Yankees moved swiftly to replace his lost production, upgrading at catcher and in the outfield by signing catcher Brian McCann (five years, $85 million) and outfielders Jacoby Ellsbury (seven years, $153 million) and Carlos Beltran (three years, $45 million).
The Yanks signed middle infielders Brendan Ryan and Kelly Johnson for depth, but as of Dec. 12, GM Brian Cashman was still looking to replace Cano at second base and add another starting pitcher and a late-inning reliever to pair with David Robertson after Mariano Rivera's retirement. Free agent Omar Infante remained a possibility for second base.
"I've got work to do," Cashman said. "I need a starter, bullpen, second base. We've still got work."
MLB Team Report - New York Yankees - NOTES, QUOTES
--C Brian McCann, who has hit at least 20 home runs in each of the last six seasons, was inked to a five-year contract worth $85 million and should provide an immense upgrade over last year's backstop trio of Chris Stewart, Austin Romine and Francisco Cervelli. "Brian McCann's been one of the game's great catchers," GM Brian Cashman said. "We're hoping that he will be able to continue the type of production both on the offensive and defensive side that he provided in Atlanta. And if he can continue to do that, you're talking about a potential Hall of Famer."
--OF Jacoby Ellsbury, who led the American League in stolen bases last season (52), defected from the rival Red Sox to become the Yankees' new center fielder, agreeing to a seven-year deal worth $153 million. Ellsbury finished second in AL MVP voting in 2011, when he hit .321 with 32 homers and 105 RBIs, but he has totaled just 33 home runs combined in his other six injury-plagued campaigns.
--OF Carlos Beltran came close to becoming a Yankee in two previous cracks at free agency, but the eight-time All-Star finally has made it to the Bronx with a three-year deal worth $45 million. Beltran batted .296 with 24 homers and an .830 OPS last season with St. Louis. He also is a .333 career hitter with 16 home runs in 180 career postseason at-bats.
--RHP Hiroki Kuroda decided to come back for another year, agreeing to a one-year deal worth $16 million. Kuroda, 38, faded late last season following a strong start, finishing 11-13 with a 3.31 ERA in 32 starts.
--SS Brendan Ryan, whom the Yankees acquired from Seattle in September of last season, was re-signed to a two-year contract worth $5 million as insurance while Derek Jeter comes back from an ankle injury. Ryan, known more for his glove than his bat, likely will man shortstop on the days when the 39-year-old Jeter takes off or is used as a designated hitter.
--2B Kelly Johnson was signed for a utility role, inking a one-year deal worth nearly $3 million. Johnson, who hit 16 home runs last season for Tampa Bay, could see time at second base, third base and the outfield.
--OF Brett Gardner will be shifted from center to left field with CF Jacoby Ellsbury's arrival, unless the speedy outfielder is used in a trade for pitching or a second baseman.
--3B Alex Rodriguez was still awaiting word as of mid-December on the appeal of a 211-game suspension for his involvement in the Biogenesis/PED scandal.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Yeah he's happy. Wouldn't you be happy? That's a lot of money. I've been paying for breakfast, lunch and dinner all these years -- he gets paid and he leaves. I would have liked to have played with him longer but you understand it's a business, guys move on." -- SS Derek Jeter, on 2B Robinson Cano signing with Seattle for 10 years and $240 million.
MLB Team Report - New York Yankees - ROSTER REPORT
So much of the Yankees' offseason approach hinged on their ability to re-sign All-Star 2B Robinson Cano. But whether he re-signed or left, it figured to be an incredibly busy offseason for GM Brian Cashman. Cano's departure leaves a huge hole at second base, although the signing of OFs Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran will minimize his loss offensively.
BIGGEST NEEDS: With Cano gone, the Bombers now must add an everyday second baseman to their offseason wish list. They also need to import a stopgap for suspended Alex Rodriguez at third base and at least one more starting pitcher to replace retired LHP Andy Pettitte and departed RHP Phil Hughes, after re-signing RHP Hiroki Kuroda. They also still need to determine a replacement for RHP Mariano Rivera.
ARRIVALS: C Brian McCann (free agent from Braves), CF Jacoby Ellsbury (free agent from Red Sox), 2B Kelly Johnson (free agent from Rays), OF Carlos Beltran (free agent from Cardinals)
DEPARTURES: 2B Robinson Cano (free agent, signed with Mariners), LHP Andy Pettitte (retired), RHP Mariano Rivera (retired), OF Curtis Granderson (free agent, signed with Mets), RHP Phil Hughes (free agent, signed with Twins), C Chris Stewart (traded to Pirates), RHP Joba Chamberlain (free agent, signed with Tigers)
FREE AGENTS: DH Travis Hafner, LHP Boone Logan, 1B Lyle Overbay, 1B/3B Mark Reynolds, 3B/1B Kevin Youkilis, INF Jayson Nix, INF David Adams, RHP Matt Daley
Youkilis was signed to a one-year deal to fill in for 3B Alex Rodriguez and 1B Mark Teixeira, but he wound up missing most of the season due to injury. He or Reynolds still could be re-signed again as a third base fill-in should Rodriguez's suspension be upheld.
ARBITRATION-ELIGIBLE: OF Brett Gardner, RHP Shawn Kelley, RHP David Robertson
Robertson is expected to be given the first crack at replacing Rivera, as the Yankees will have a new primary closer for the first time since 1997.
--LHP CC Sabathia (strained left hamstring) missed the last week of the season. The injury is considered minor, and he'll be ready by spring training.
--C Austin Romine (concussion) sat out the season's final three weeks because he continued to experience symptoms.
--SS Derek Jeter (sore left ankle) will be ready for spring training following an injury-plagued season.
--3B Kevin Youkilis (back surgery in June 2013) had a herniated disk repaired. He is expected to be ready for spring training.
--1B Mark Teixeira (right wrist surgery in July 2013) should be ready to go by spring training.
--C Francisco Cervelli (fractured right hand, stress reaction in right elbow) will be ready for spring training.