The offseason hasn't even started yet and already we have several rumors concerning who the Yankees will and will not be targeting in the offseason. As Jon Heyman reports, for better or worse, it sounds like they won't be going after any of the more expensive free agents like David Price, Zack Greinke, or Johnny Cueto. Instead, he says they will seek a right-handed bat, some middle relief help, and maybe one of the less expensive starters on the market.
While it makes sense to not go hard after someone like Yoenis Cespedes for the 2016 Yankees, the idea of adding top-flight pitching shouldn't be outright dismissed. They have a full rotation at the moment, but that group of pitchers isn't without its numerous question marks–they were in question before the 2015 season and they remain in question after it. It wouldn't be the worst idea to blow up what they have in some way in order to add someone to the top of the rotation. Price has been one of the best pitchers in baseball for a few years now, Greinke has been great with the Dodgers and could continue to dominate even under the span of a long-term contract, and Cueto should be able to return to form after a disappointing stint with the Royals.
On the flip side, the Yankees have a ton of inexpensive pitching that has the potential to become absolutely dominant if (big if) they can stay healthy. Saving money here should help them in the long run when they need to fill second base and right field in the near future. Despite each of those pitchers likely providing stupendous results in 2016, it's the long-term portion of that contract that could end up hurting the Yankees in the long run. None of those three are without their own concerns as Price has already thrown a significant number of innings before turning 30, Greinke could soon begin his decline at 32, and Cueto could continue to struggle even on a new team.
It's clear that people in the industry are aware of New York's reluctance to add big contracts onto their payroll, but Heyman even went as far as to say that the organization isn't "high at the moment on $200 million deals for pitchers," a trend that started with Clayton Kershaw and Max Scherzer, and will most certainly take them out of the running for Price. Instead, expect the Yankees to purse mid-level alternatives like Mike Leake, Scott Kazmir, and–thanks to a down year–Jeff Samardzija, if they go after anyone at all.
Of course, it's still only October and the World Series hasn't even begun. Don't take a report like this too seriously just yet. It's a long offseason and things have a tendency to change. I personally think this is pretty accurate to how the organization feels, but I expect to see them throw their hat into the ring at some point, even if nothing ever materializes.