The Yankees have already said they do not plan to pursue top free agent starters Jon Lester and Max Scherzer, which leaves them in the mix for the mid-level options. While they already have an interest in reuniting with Brandon McCarthy after his successful half-season in New York, they are also eyeing a few other options.
According to Jon Heyman, the Yankees are targeting Jason Hammel and are interested in bringing Chris Capuano back into the fold. Neither would cost any kind of draft compensation, since Hammel was traded mid-season. He pitched to an impressive 2.98 ERA with a 3.19 FIP for the Chicago Cubs, however he struggled after being traded to the Athletics with a 4.26 ERA and 5.10 FIP and was a big part of their second-half slide. Capuano, on the other hand, was useful as a spot starter after he was traded as he pitched to a 4.25 ERA and 3.85 FIP in 65.2 innings with the Yankees.
While it has yet to be seen how serious their interests are, both could have their uses on this team. If the Yankees can't figure out a contract with McCarthy, the Yankees could look to Hammel as the next best mid-level starter. While McCarthy could command a three-year deal, Hammel might only net a two-year contract, at most. Capuano will cost a very small amount and could be used as a swingman depending on how they feel about people like David Phelps and Shane Greene going forward. Perhaps best of all is that neither of these signings would get in the team's way of bringing in high-end talent.