January has come and gone. Let's quickly reflect upon all the big news of the month and then focus on the most recent rumblings in the Yankee Universe.
On January 5, the Yankees and Hiroyuki Nakajima were unable to reach an agreement on a contract. New York received their $2 million posting fee and Nakajima will return to Japan for another season before being eligible to play in the United States.
After dodging trade rumors and free agent interests in players such as Gio Gonzalez, Matt Garza, Roy Oswalt and Edwin Jackson, the Yankees were successfully able to land their #2 starter for the 2012 season. On January 13, the Seattle Mariners dealt young 22 year old stud Michael Pineda to the Bronx in return for heralded catching prospect Jesus Montero.
Nearly simultaneously, the Yankees opened their purses for Hiroki Kuroda, enticing him to the tune of $10 million to leave the west coast for the city that never sleeps.
And just like that, New York primed themselves as the American League favorite to reach the world series. At least in my opinion.
The following contract disputes were solved and each of the players was given arbitration.
And lastly, Jorge Posada, a New York Yankee for all 17 years of his major league career, officially called it quits on January 24. He's cemented himself as one of the top tiered offensive catchers in Yankee history and certainly in the past two decades.
With all that being said, we're finally into the brief stretch leading up to pitchers and catchers reporting. That's merely 18 days away.