Posted on: January 3, 2012 3:46 pm
Edited on: January 24, 2012 8:53 pm
With the Yankees unconvinced the Cubs will consent to trade Matt Garza for less than their very best prospects, the Yankees will continue their dialogue with free agent pitcher Edwin Jackson.
The Yankees and Jackson aren't in any way close to a deal. But there seems reason to think they might find middle ground, as the Yankees like his arm and see him as a solid pitcher who could fill their need for a durable middle-of-the-rotation presence. They also like Garza but don't want to consider trading two top prospects (the Cubs like Jesus Montero, Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances and want more than one of them) and aren't sure the Cubs are committed to trading him in the winter.
Jackson is believed to be looking for a deal that pays him in the $15-to-17-million range annually. Agent Scott Boras has compared Jackson to C.J. Wilson, Mark Buehrle, John Lackey, A.J. Burnett and Derek Lowe in his book touting Jackson; all those pitchers received $14-to-17-million a year. For instance, in the three previous years, Jackson has won 25 games, struck out 490 batters and posted a 3.96 ERA, comparable numbers to the three years Burnett had before he signed with the Yankees for $82.5 million over five years; in those three years Burnett won 38 games, had a 3.94 ERA and struck out 535 batters. As we know now, the Burnett deal didn't work out so great for the Yankees, however.
More remarkable, Jackson is one of only three active pitchers age 27 or younger who has thrown 950 innings with no D.L. time, with the others being Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum. Jackson is also one of three pitchers 27 or younger who's started more than 30 games each of the past five years. The other two are Cain and Felix Hernandez.
There are other starting pitching alternatives on the trade and free agent market, including Gavin Floyd, Wady Rodriguez, Hiroki Kuroda and Roy Oswalt. There's no proof they are heavily involved with Floyd, Rodriguez or Oswalt, and there are uncertain whether Kuroda would go to New York.
The Yankees made only a modest efort at Yu Darvish, submitting a posting bid of $15 million, which was well below the Rangers' winning $51.703,411 bid.
Posted on: January 2, 2012 8:05 pm
Edited on: January 24, 2012 8:57 pm
The Yankees desperately seek a No. 2 starter, and fortunately for them, there are still many viable alternatives available on the trade and free agent markets.
But ultimately, the choice could come down to Matt Garza or Edwin Jackson.
The Yankees' like Hiroki Kuroda, but there is no certainty he wants to pitch in New York. They do not appear to be in on the Jair Jurrjens trade discussions, nor even the Wandy Rodriguez or Gavin Floyd talks. And they haven't seemed anxious to go for Roy Oswalt.
That could leave Garza vs. E-Jax.
They like both pitchers. But so far the Yankees don't like the cost for Garza in terms of prospects, and they don't love the price tag for Jackson, either. The Cubs surely would like some combination of Jesus Montero, Manuel Banuelos and Dellin Betances for Garza. Jackson's asking price is said by sources to be about $60 million for five years.
The Yankees so far would like to keep new contracts to one or two years, as they are hopeful of getting below the $189-million luxury tax treshhold in 2014. If they stuck to that, that would make signing Jackson very difficult.
The Yankees like Jackson's arm, his potential and his durability. But they wonder about his consistency. He is one of only three active pitchers 27 or younger with more than 30 games started each of the past five years, the other two being Matt Cain and Felix Hernandez. He is also one of only three age 27 or younger to have thrown 950 innings with no D.L. time the last five years. The others? Cain and Tim Lincecum.
Posted on: January 1, 2012 10:06 pm
Edited on: January 24, 2012 9:00 pm
There is "no real favorite'' in the five-team Matt Garza sweepstakes, according to someone familiar with the talks.
The teams involved the derby for the 28-year-old Cubs righthander at this point are the Yankees, Blue Jays, Tigers, Red Sox and Marlins. With the Cubs seeking young pitchers, it would seem that the Yankees, Blue Jays and Tigers could hold an edge ultimately. The Yankees have Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances, the Tigers Jacob Turner and the Blue Jays several well-regarded prospects at the lower levels. The Cubs are hoping to improve their young pitching stock, and Garza is the most marketable player they're willing to deal.
The Red Sox earlier named Garza, who went 10-10 with a 3.31 ERA in 2011, his only one with the Cubs, as a target in Theo Epstein compensation talks, but it's unclear wether the Cubs would even consider trying to solve the compensation issue while making a bigger Garza deal with Boston. They wouldn't surrender Garza straight-up for Epstein, and it's possible the Cubs would want to keep Garza and the compensation issues totally separate. The Red Sox don't have pitching prospects to match the Yankees or Blue Jays but do have hard-throwing righthander Anthony Ranaudo, who was drafted by Epstein, the new Cubs president.
The Cubs are obviously rebuilding but have been nonetheless tied to the Prince Fielder derby. A Cubs person suggested that while Fielder is the type of player they need, they aren't willing to pursue Fielder at all costs, a not unfamiliar refain for teams pursuing big-name free agents.