At the start of the offseason, the Yankees supposedly were not going to sign any of the top free agent starting pitchers. Then rumors circulated around Max Scherzer and to a lesser extent, Jon Lester. Now that Lester is off the table, and Scherzer reportedly wants a contract worth over $200 million, Brian Cashman has said that he is too expensive for the Yankees. It could be that Cashman just doesn't want to show his hand, or is hoping to see the price drop some, but is it possible that they really aren't going to pursue him?
At the beginning of the week, the Yankees only had three pitchers in their rotation: CC Sabathia, Michael Pineda and Masahiro Tanaka. All three spent significant time on the DL last season, and there are concerns surrounding each of them. After Shane Greene was traded, and knowing that they had two spots to fill, it seemed apparent that the Yankees would be all-in on Scherzer. Then they signed Chris Capuano to a one-year deal. Capuano joined the team (and the rotation) in the middle of last season, and he was okay in his time as a starter, but far from great. Now that they've signed Capuano, it's starting to feel like maybe the Yankees really aren't after Scherzer.
On the one hand, it's fairly absurd to hear the Yankees talk about players being too expensive. Yes, Scherzer does want a huge contract, but he is also the best pitcher on the market and signing him would be the surest way to immediately improve the rotation. The last few years of that contract probably wouldn't be very good, but the rotation without him is scary. Assuming that Capuano is the fourth starter, then the fifth spot probably would be decided by some sort of spring training competition between David Phelps, Adam Warren, Bryan Mitchell and Chase Whitley. If that happens, then it starts to feel like 2014 all over again. Somehow, despite Hiroki Kuroda being the only original starting pitcher to remain in the rotation last season, the real issue was the offense. The Yankees plugged a ton of different starters into the rotation, and they all were able to do a decent job but they really shouldn't count on that working out again next season. I would much rather see a rotation rounded out by Scherzer and Capuano than Capuano and whichever internal option they decide to go with.
If the Yankees don't go after Scherzer, then maybe we're witnessing the team turn a new leaf. One where they don't throw out expensive, lengthy contracts, or sign someone solely in reaction to moves made by other AL East teams.
Do you think Cashman is just posturing, or do you think that the Yankees actually won't go after Scherzer?