The Nashville Winter Meetings
The Yankees appear to be bound and determined to squeeze under the 2014 luxury-tax cap of $189 million. There are definite financial benefits for doing so; the price, however, may be fielding a team that will not be as competitive as expected in the Bronx. A late bid for free agent Kevin Youkilis was unresolved as of this writing, and certainly will be more expensive than the earlier unrealized plans if the $12 million, one-year offer reportedly on the table is accepted by The Greek God of Walks. Complicating the matter is the two-year, $18 million offer by the Cleveland Indians to reunite the versatile slugger with his former manager from the Red Sox, Terry Francona. Were I Youk, I might try to squeeze the Indians for $10 million per year, but in any event I would give that offer every consideration. Youkilis knows what it’s like playing in an East Coast, big-city fishbowl where every at-bat, every fielding chance is mercilessly dissected and subject to withering criticism if not scorn.
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim will have a different look next season. Unlike last year’s meetings, when Arte Moreno and General Manager Jerry DiPoto hauled in biggest fish Albert Pujols and the most-prized pitcher in C.J. Wilson, the Angels, out of the money for consecutive seasons now, have been in makeover mode. First they traded starter Ervin Santana to the Kansas City Royals for minor-leaguer Brandon Sisk; they let outfielder Torii Hunter walk to the Detroit Tigers; they bought out the option of starter Dan Haren, who signed with the Washington Nationals; they traded young fire-balling reliever Jordon Walden to the Atlanta Braves for declining starter Tommy Hansen; and they signed lefty bullpen piece Sean Burnett, late of the Nationals. Lower-impact moves to be sure, revamping their rotation and replenishing their bullpen in an increasingly tough American League West.
We’ll keep track of developments next week.
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