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Will the Yankees sign any remaining free agents?

The Yankees have yet to sign a major league free agent this winter. While they seem to be against signing any big contracts, they do have some needs that can be addressed through agency.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

By their standards, this has been a quiet offseason for the New York Yankees. Always busy in free agency, the pinstripes have gone off script this winter; they have yet to sign a major league free agent. While they have made minor league deals and multiple trades, it would undeniably be a strange offseason if the Yankees didn't ink at least one player to a major league deal.

The Yankees' plan is clear by now: Don't add too much payroll until large contracts come off the books in the coming seasons. Instead, they are looking to improve through trades and from within by developing prospects. Personally, I support the strategy and think it's a welcome change from their past policies. I don't agree that they should shun the free agent market completely, however, particularly given next year's underwhelming crop. The Yankees have holes that can be filled through free agency, and as long as the deal makes sense, it's worthy of pursuing. So, I wanted to take a look at the remaining free agent market to see if there's anyone who makes sense for the Yankees, and if they're realistic possibilities to be signed.

A full list of free agents can be found here.


Yoenis Cespedes

Should they sign him?

No. I'm not a Cespedes fan. If he can be had on a one or two year deal, sure. Adding him would make a lot of sense for the same reason signing Upton would have been a good move; he's a right-handed power bat to balance a lefty heavy lineup. I liked Upton more than Cespedes if they were going to go down this road, though.

Will they sign him?

I don't see this happening unless it's on a short term deal.

Remaining outfielders

Should they sign any?

No remaining outfielder is noteworthy besides Dexter Fowler. However, he's too similar to Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner and will cost a compensation pick, so it wouldn't make sense. Unless the Yankees sign a big impact bat like Upton or Cespedes for the outfield, they should be set with Ellsbury, Gardner, Carlos Beltran, Aaron Hicks, and everyone they have in the minors like Slade Heathcott, Mason Williams, and others.

Will they sign any?

No; there's no reason for Brian Cashman to dip into the free agency pool for a position they're set at unless it's for a big time player, and even that is unlikely.


Should they sign any?

There's no reason. The infield is filled with Mark Teixeira, Starlin Castro, Didi Gregorius, and Chase Headley. Even their backups are essentially set with Greg Bird, Rob Refsnyder, and Dustin Ackley all being very capable players. Signing a starter like Howie Kendrick obviously wouldn't make sense, and there aren't even any intriguing backups to take a chance on for depth.

Will they sign any?

No. There's a chance they may want a defensive specialist or maybe a useful bench player like Juan Uribe to back up Gregorius and fill Brendan Ryan's role from last season, but I can't see them going into free agency for that when Castro is capable of shifting to shortstop in an emergency. And even if Cashman wanted to, the market is almost nonexistent.


Should they sign any?

Nope. Brian McCann is obviously the starter, and Gary Sanchez should be a solid backup because of his righty power bat. Austin Romine is also capable, providing depth from the minors.

Will they sign any?

Definitely not. There's really no remaining candidates even if they wanted to. They may take a chance on someone with a minor league deal, but nothing more.

Starting pitchers

Should they sign any?

Yes. I was pounding the drum for the Yankees to get a bona fide ace this offseason like David Price, but since that market is washed up, I don't want to overpay for a "frontline" starter and end up giving someone like Ian Kennedy $70 million. Yovani Gallardo, if you're reading this, well first of all wow, but secondly, I'm looking at you! I do think it's a worthwhile investment for the Yankees to take a gamble on a backend starter who can compete for the rotation next season, though. Think of the Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia signings in 2011.

Tim Lincecum

Signing Lincecum is the type of deal I absolutely love. Take a gamble on a proven star for essentially no risk at all, besides what amounts to pocket change in the baseball world. A two-time Cy Young winner, Lincecum knows how to pitch, and although he's seemingly fallen off a cliff the past several seasons, there's some reason for optimism. He had hip surgery last season that may be able to restore some of his balance and velocity. He's also shown traces of his former brilliance as recent as 2014 with his no-hitter of the Padres, and even when struggling the past few seasons his peripherals have suggested he was pitching better than it seemed.

Obviously, there's a chance Lincecum's time has come and that he won't amount to much of anything this season. However, he epitomizes what the "buy low" strategy is all about, and even if he can't make it as a starter, perhaps he can have value as a middle reliever.

Similar candidates are Doug Fister and Mat Latos, although they may be more expensive.

Will they sign any?

I wouldn't be shocked if the Yankees do take a gamble on someone like Lincecum. Cashman's statements indicate he's not ecstatic with the rotation, so he could be looking to add some depth. Of everything listed so far, this is the most likely.


Should they sign any?

Yes! They may have the best relief trio ever, but they are still thin elsewhere. The problem last season wasn't the back end of the bullpen, it was everything else. Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miler, and Dellin Betances are the only sure things. Bryan Mitchell could fill an Adam Warren role, and Chasen Shreve could return to 2015 first half form, but both are far from certainties. James Pazos, Nick Rumbelow, Jacob Lindgren and others all have potential, but the Yankees can still use a proven right-hander out of the bullpen to give Betances more rest. The better names are all signed, but Tommy Hunter or Tyler Clippard won't cost much and have a history of being unspectacular, but reliable relievers.

Will they sign any?

This is probably the best bet for the Yankees to sign someone, but I wouldn't be shocked if they just roll into spring training with what they have.

Overall, while the Yankees do have some needs, it doesn't seem likely they will dip into the free agency market due to their new strategy and a thin remaining market. If they're signing anyone, a lottery ticket on a back-end starter or a righty reliever seem to be the most likely options.