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Yankees 'boring' this winter? Never

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The euphoria over winning a 27th World Series title has already begun to fade, just a little. The focus is turning to 2010, and trying to win No. 28.

What will GM Brian Cashman do this winter? We know what most of the questions are. Hideki Matsui? Johnny Damon? Andy Pettitte? The makeup of the starting rotation?

I have been a Yankee fan for the entirety of the Steinbrenner era, and the one thing I can say is the off-season is never dull around the Bronx Bombers.

Yet, word seeping out is that might just be the case this year.

Here is Joel Sherman.

The Yankees found $181 million lying around last offseason, and made a late, victorious bid to corral Mark Teixeira, so never say never when it comes to the Yankees and spending.

But the initial read as the winter bazaar opens is that the Yankees do not intend to make a play for the three biggest free agents: Jason Bay, Matt Holliday and John Lackey. After signing the three biggest free agents last offseason (Teixeira, CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett), the Yankees just might be boring this winter.

This is not about need, because corner outfield and starting pitcher are priorities to fortify what is now a champion. But based on conversations with multiple Yankees officials, I sense that financially and philosophically the Yankees will not big-game hunt in free agency.



No one except the bookkeepers knows the real finances for the Yankees, how much they are propped up by YES, how much they make - or lose - just on the baseball operation, how much debt they incurred building the Eighth Wonder of the World. There are people in baseball who seriously wonder how long this team is actually going to stay in the Steinbrenner family.

We just know this: They sell winning and are willing to pay for it. There's nothing baseball can do to stop it, because all that the Players Association really has left is that they never gave in on a salary cap.

We'll hear now that the Yankees have got to get younger and can't keep both Damon and Matsui, and how they really aren't all that interested in Jason Bay or Matt Holliday. That's what we'll hear. But we'll see about all that. This is the one about how money can't buy happiness, but it certainly will finance an exhaustive search.

Here is an outside opinion, from John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Reports out of New York, one from longtime New York Post columnist Joel Sherman, suggest the Yankees might restrict their spending this offseason and won't hotly pursue elite free agents, maybe even try to pull that modest payroll under $200 million.

With all due respect to Sherman, who probably has more sources inside the Yankees than Hal Steinbrenner, we observers who think outside the Bronx are a little skeptical and offer two words of warning:

Just wait.

The Yankees can't help themselves.

Whether they buy or not, the Yankees won't be boring this winter. They never are.