COMMENTARY | Free agency will be tricky this winter for the once-upon-a-time free-spending New York Yankees.
Their best player, Robinson Cano, wants an audacious 10-year, $305-million contract. Owner Hal Steinbrenner is bound and determined to get the team under the $189-million luxury tax threshold.
The Yankees already have $125.268 million committed to Alex Rodriguez ($26M), Vernon Wells ($24.643M), Mark Teixeira ($23.125M), CC Sabathia ($23M), Alfonso Soriano ($19M), Ichiro Suzuki ($6.5M) and Derek Jeter ($3M) for the 2014 season. Signing Cano and making a run at Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka, as many around baseball expect them to do, might make it difficult for them to do much more on the free-agent market.
If they can do anything else, however, free-agent pitcher Matt Garza would be a terrific addition to their starting rotation. Andy Pettitte has retired. Hiroki Kuroda may retire, or return to Japan. Phil Hughes is leaving via free agency, and it seems unlikely the Yankees will try to keep him. They have only Sabathia and Ivan Nova as locks for their 2014 rotation.
Garza, 29, went 10-6 with a 3.82 ERA in 155.1 innings for the Chicago Cubs and Texas Rangers. In eight big-league season, Garza is 67-67 with a 3.84 ERA, has surrendered only 8.6 hits per nine innings and has a WHIP of 1.283. He proved his mettle in the AL East as a mainstay in the Tampa Bay Rays' rotation from 2008-2010.
With starting pitching always at a premium, Garza will likely command a hefty contract. At 29, though, it's not like he is an aging pitcher who would be collecting money based on what he used to be able to do. He remains capable of being a quality starting pitcher on a good team, and he would be a huge help to the Yankees.
I have serious doubts as to whether or not the Yankees will be able to make a run at Garza if they are intent on staying under the luxury tax. If they can find a way, however, they should.
- Sports & Recreation
- New York Yankees
- Matt Garza
- Robinson Cano
- Alfonso Soriano
- Alex Rodriguez