Window Shopping For Free Agents

Yes, the Yankees won the World Series and all is well in the Universe. But even championship teams can use a little tweaking here and there, and ours is no exception. As we all said yesterday, Damon and/or Matsui could be gone. Pettitte has to decide whether he’s coming back. Hairston, Hinske, Nady and Molina could be playing elsewhere. So I took a look at’s complete list of this year’s free agents to see if there’s anybody I’d want in pinstripes.
First, I scanned the list for pitchers. Anybody? Either starter or reliever? Oh, my. Check out all the guys who’ve already been Yankees: LaTroy Hawkins, Jeff Weaver, Jose Contreras, Carl Pavano, Brett Bombko and Ron Villone, to name a few. Thanks but no thanks.
And then there are guys like Pedro Martinez (please), Smoltz, Penny and Paul Byrd (um, no), Jarrod Washburn (we’ve already passed on him a zillion times), and John Lackey (I don’t like him, period). Erik Bedard used to be someone I coveted – I remember when he was unhittable for a season with the O’s – but injuries make him undesirable now.
So much for pitchers. Now I’ll browse for outfielders, since we’re set at every other position. Hm, let’s see if there’s anyone tempting. Wow. How about all the aging DH-types on the market: Vlad Guerrero, Garret Anderson, Jermaine Dye, Mike Cameron, Andruw Jones. Since the Yankees are trying to go younger – and since I’d rather keep Matsui and Damon over any of these guys – I’ll decline.
There are some names that do jump out, however: Jason Bay, Matt Holliday and Scott Posednik. Bay would be an upgrade in left but I can’t imagine the Sox letting him walk. Holliday can hit, but can he play defense? Posednik is speedy and has a good glove, but would he really be a better option than Brett Gardner?
Oh, wait. I spotted an interesting name: Marlon Byrd. I was impressed with him when we faced the Rangers this year. And I remember he hit a walk-off grand slam against us in ’08. He’s 32, hit 20 homers, and knocked in 89 RBIs in ’09 – not bad. He’s had knee problems though, including major surgery. Do I want Marlon?
Oh, I don’t know. I’m just glad I’m not Cashman. I’m better at shopping for these.
B – Anderson, Garret OF
A – Gonzalez, Mike RP
Hudson, Tim ** SP
B – LaRoche, Adam 1B
Norton, Greg 1B/OF
A – Soriano, Rafael RP

B – Davis, Doug SP
Schoeneweis, Scott RP
Tracy, Chad 1B

Baez, Danys RP
Hendrickson, Mark SP/RP
Moeller, Chad C
B – Mora, Melvin 3B

Baldelli, Rocco OF
A – Bay, Jason OF
Byrd, Paul SP
Gonzalez, Alex SS
B – Varitek, Jason ** C
A – Wagner, Billy RP
Woodward, Chris 3B

Fox, Chad RP
A – Grabow, John RP
A – Gregg, Kevin RP
B – Harden, Rich SP
Johnson, Reed OF

Castro, Ramon C
A – Dotel, Octavio RP
A – Dye, Jermaine OF
Podsednik, Scott OF

B – Hernandez, Ramon ** C
Wells, Kip SP

Carroll, Jamey 2B/3B/OF
Ohka, Tomokazu SP/RP

B – Beimel, Joe RP
A – Betancourt, Rafael ** RP
Contreras, Jose SP
Embree, Alan RP
Fogg, Josh SP/RP
Giambi, Jason 1B
Herges, Matt RP
B – Marquis, Jason SP
Rincon, Juan RP
B – Torrealba, Yorvit C

Everett, Adam SS
Huff, Aubrey 1B/3B
B – Lyon, Brandon RP
A – Polanco, Placido 2B
B – Rodney, Fernando RP
Washburn, Jarrod SP

B – Calero, Kiko RP
Donnelly, Brendan RP
Gload, Ross 1B/OF
B – Johnson, Nick 1B

Boone, Aaron 1B/3B
B – Brocail, Doug RP
Erstad, Darin 1B/OF
Hampton, Mike SP
A – Hawkins, LaTroy RP
Michaels, Jason OF
A – Tejada, Miguel SS
A – Valverde, Jose RP

Chen, Bruce SP/RP
Crisp, Coco OF
B – Olivo, Miguel C
Wright, Jamey RP

Escobar, Kelvim SP
A – Figgins, Chone 3B
B – Guerrero, Vladimir OF/DH
A – Lackey, John SP
A – Oliver, Darren RP
Quinlan, Robb 1B/3B/OF

Ausmus, Brad C
B – Belliard, Ron 2B
Castro, Juan 2B/SS
B – Garland, Jon SP
A – Hudson, Orlando 2B
Loretta, Mark 1B/2B/3B
Mientkiewicz, Doug 1B
Milton, Eric SP
B – Mota, Guillermo RP
B – Ohman, Will ** RP
B – Padilla, Vicente SP
Schmidt, Jason SP
Thome, Jim DH/1B
Weaver, Jeff SP
A – Wolf, Randy SP

B – Cameron, Mike OF
Catalanotto, Frank OF
Counsell, Craig 2B/3B/SS
B – Kendall, Jason C
B – Looper, Braden ** RP
B – Lopez, Felipe 2B/3B/SS/OF
Patterson, Corey OF
Vargas, Claudio SP/RP
B – Weathers, Dave RP

A – Cabrera, Orlando SS
Crede, Joe 3B
Mahay, Ron RP
B – Pavano, Carl SP
Redmond, Mike C

Cora, Alex 2B/SS
B – Delgado, Carlos 1B
Dessens, Elmer RP
Martinez, Ramon 2B/SS
Putz, J.J. RP
Schneider, Brian C
Sheffield, Gary OF
B – Tatis, Fernando 1B/3B/OF

A – Damon, Johnny OF
Hairston Jr, Jerry 2B/3B/SS/OF
Hinske, Eric 1B/OF
Matsui, Hideki OF
Molina, Jose C
B – Nady, Xavier OF
B – Pettitte, Andy SP

Crosby, Bobby SS
B – Duchscherer, Justin SP
Garciaparra, Nomar 1B
Kennedy, Adam 2B
Tomko, Brett SP

Bako, Paul C
Cairo, Miguel IF
B – Eyre, Scott RP
Feliz, Pedro 3B
rtinez, Pedro

Myers, Brett SP
B – Park, Chan Ho SP
Stairs, Matt OF


Blanco, Henry C
B – Giles, Brian OF

Batista, Miguel SP/RP
B – Bedard, Erik SP
B – Beltre, Adrian 3B
Branyan, Russell 1B
Chavez, Endy OF
Griffey Jr., Ken DH/OF
Sweeney, Mike 1B/DH
Wilson, Jack ** SS

Aurilia, Rich 1B/3B
B – Howry, Bob RP
B – Johnson, Randy SP
A – Molina, Bengie C
Penny, Brad SP
Uribe, Juan 2B/3B/SS
B – Winn, Randy OF

Ankiel, Rick OF
B – DeRosa, Mark 3B
B – Glaus, Troy 3B
Greene, Khalil SS/3B
A – Holliday, Matt OF
LaRue, Jason C
B – Pineiro, Joel SP
Smoltz, John SP
Wellemeyer, Todd SP

Bradford, Chad RP
Isringhausen, Jason RP
Percival, Troy RP
B – Shouse, Brian RP
B – Springer, Russ RP
B – Zaun, Gregg C

Benoit, Joaquin RP
Blalock, Hank 3B
B – Byrd, Marlon OF
Guardado, Eddie RP
Jones, Andruw OF
B – Rodriguez, Ivan C
Vizquel, Omar SS

B – Barajas, Rod C 
McDonald, John 3B/SS 
Millar, Kevin OF 
A – Scutaro, Marco 2B/SS 

Bard, Josh C
Hernandez, Livan SP
Kearns, Austin OF
Villone, Ron RP
Young, Dmitri 1B



  1. Greg

    Certainly aren’t any CC’s, Texeira’s or Burnett’s that jump out at ya, are there? Oh…congrats by the way. About Bay, I don’t remember the last Red Sox player that went to free agency and ended up staying a Sox. If Bay, files, he is gone. And ask Jeff about Holliday’s defense. 😉

    Red Sox Ramblings:

  2. mikeeff

    i wouldn’t mind taking a chance on rick ankiel for CF. great D and a bigger bat than the melkman. sign Nady to a small one year deal and see what happens with him. he could have a big year for little cost. if not no harm done.

    i detest lackey– i want either sheets or harden – both risks but neither would require a lot of years or $.

  3. Jane Heller

    Nope, Greg. No CC’s out there this year. I guess Lackey is the biggest name in terms of pitchers. (Oh, thanks by the way. 🙂 Do you really think Bay won’t stay in Boston? I already know about Holliday’s defense, which is why I said I wasn’t interested. Maybe your guys will want him. LOL.

    Sign Nady, Mike? I figured he was damaged goods and Cashman would stay far away from him. Hasn’t he had two surgeries? I haven’t followed Ankiel since he was a pitcher, so I’m not in the loop on him. I’m with you on Lackey. Ugh. Sheets is so injury prone. Harden is a risk too. We need another horse like CC!


    Wow, there are a lot of…ummm…”seasoned” veterans on that list. Some, like Randy Johnson and John Smoltz might be good investments – if they need surgery during the season Medicare would probably cover it.

    In an ideal world Ichiro would be a free agent this season but he’s obviously not available. Maybe we have to scout in Japan to find another player like him or Matsui.

    I can’t believe Boston waved goodbye to to Jason Varitek — he was a solid performer for them.

    Aaron Boone might be available…he was a lot of fun to watch; especially ALCS7 in 2003 – I was at that game which was obviously ver exciting and was the initiation of “Who’s Your Daddy?”

    The Dodgers have a lot of people who may walk this year. I don’t know if that will just free up a lot of money for them or if they will need to sign many of those players to try to make the post-season again next year.

    As you said, Jane, not much out there. Fortunately we don’t have a lot of big holes — good farm system may be enough for us to do what we have to do.


    Counting the ones on the Yankees list, there are enough ex Yankees on that list to field two teams. Cashman is pretty clever – maybe he’ll pick up some guys as future trade material, who knows. (DUH, after all these years, I just noticed the guy’s name CASH MAN. How appropriate!)

  6. Jane Heller

    I think we already scour Japan on a regular basis, Diane. If there were an Ichiro or Matsui available, Cashman would know about it. Maybe it’s time to scour other parts of the Caribbean, not just the Dominican. There must be a great player or two in, like, Aruba. LOL. Varitek could wind up staying in Boston since he still has his player option. And Aaron Boone…..I was happy to see his name on the list after having gone through heart surgery. Glad he’s still playing or wanting to. No, not much out there. Good thing we don’t need a lot.

    I thought it was funny how many ex-Yankees there are on that list, Melissa. They come, they go. Such is life in baseball. I cracked up when I saw Pavano’s name. And how about non-Yankee Orlando Cabrera. Doesn’t it seem like he’s on this list every year? Talk about moving around.

    Lots of teams seem interested in Holliday, Jeff – if you can believe all the rumors. I guess he, Bay and Lackey are the ones who’ll get the big money, while the rest will have to deal with reality.



    The fact that you don’t like Lackey is a good indication that he’s your man. You hate him because he is a great competitor, the only rookie to win a game seven of the WS. I’ll take him. Everyone else is just average. What about Bay? He seems placid. Matt Holiday? He needs the NL to succeed though is there a worse hitting park than the Oakland Colliseum? So let’s sign our own guys except Molina (let Cervelli try the job) and Nady (he ain’t no Nick Swisher). It seems the lack of great players keeps the playing field pretty even and last I checked the Yankees were the best with who they had. Hey, I’m just a fan so for me I’m happy with the championship team they put on the field. Lackey gives them the fourth starter.



    Wowie Zowie, Jane…you blow me away (again) by having that Gi-normous List of Possibilities…makes my old gray head swim, lost in memories of good/bad Strat-o-Matic (Fantasy) Baseball drafts of the early ’90s…tuff to decide about Lackey…fierce competitor, but the last 2 times the Yanks got a fierce competitive pitcher I disliked, they were Randy Johnson and Kevin Brown…remember the old old days of Yankeedom, when we’d pick up a guy who used to kill us? Or else get a guy from one of our main rivals, if only to just weaken them? Makes ya think…I kinda like Jermaine Dye, O-dog Hudson…Jamey Carroll may surprise…Nick Johnson can still hit…how ’bout stealing a Phillie pitcher, like Myers or Park?…Hank Blalock has/had some serious power…I liked Randy Winn too…or should we have a Putz on the Yankees? Good luck, Mr. Cashman!!

  9. Jane Heller

    I don’t hate Lackey because he’s a competitor, Laurie. And I think he’s a good pitcher. But I don’t care for his demonstrations on the mound when he’s displeased with one of his teammates, and I don’t think he’d fit in with the Yankees for that very reason. Maybe he apologizes after the fact, but he keeps doing it anyway. Not my kind of guy. But you’re right: we do need a fourth starter. Even if Joba and Hughes are both back in the rotation, Hughes will have an innings limit and Joba will be a question mark. I agree on Cervelli; time to say bye bye to Molina.

  10. Jane Heller

    When I saw Putz’s name on the list, I thought the same thing you did, Dave. How can we not have a Putz on our team? LOL. But the others? Like the oft-injured Nick Johnson? We already have a pretty nifty first baseman and Pena is more than adequate as a utility guy. The others are OLD and we need YOUNG. Plus we’ve got plenty of power just as we are. We’ll just need another pitcher plus a possible replacement for Damon/Matsui.

    Thank you, Paul. I thought my idea was sort of interesting. His name was the only one that actually made sense.

  11. raysrenegade

    It should be interesting to see what direction Cashman takes them.
    You know whatever team gets Eric Hinske will be giddy since he has been to the Wrold Series three years in a row now.
    But a lot of the Yankees moves might be shadow moves to Boston’s upgrades.
    We know that the Red sox are trying to still ply Roy Halladay away, but the Yankees have their pick of the litter right now as the MLB’s champs. And that in itself can be a nice marketing prop to show to a potential player.
    So as the “Hot Stove” starts bubbling you have to ask yourself what player has the ingredients that will spice up the team and get them back to that same parade spot in 2010.

    Rays Renegade

  12. Jane Heller

    That’s right! Hinske is a lucky charm, Renegade. I forgot about that, so they have to keep him. What player has the ingredients that will spice up the team and bring them another championship? That’s a tough one, but I can’t wait to find out.

    Halladay isn’t getting any younger, Babu. He’s in his prime right now, so I’d snatch him today! I don’t want Lackey, period.


    Jane, once again Edwin didn’t want to do any work but his face lit upat the idea of reading when i said he could read your blog and when writing involved writing to you. Thank you for welcoming everyone including those from the kids program that i run. Barbara

    Hi it is me Edwin
    How are you doing? What day is opening day? Winter is coming and I wish Spring was just around the corner. What is your favorite baseball month? I just found out that they won the series. What is your husband’s name?What is your favorite cheesecake. Mine is strawberry.Bye!!!


    Hi Jane,
    First, I have to say how much I enjoy your blogs! Even my husband is asking, “what did she-fan say?” I am almost done with your book, and I am such a fan of yours. Go she-fans!
    I think that we should go for the best SP out there, and unfortunately, that means Lackey. We need to keep Phil and Jaba in the bullpen. Hopefully Andy stays next year, but it would be a logical year to retire. No way for Pedro!
    I would to with Bay for an outfield pick-up. He gives us problems, and he is a great hitter when he is having one of his streaks. He has a much better arm than Damon, although I have come to love Damon since he joined the Yankees. Matt Hallady might be a good 2nd.
    Again, I thoroughly enjoy this blog, and I will be joining you almost daily in comment. Go Yankees (in 2010)!!!

  15. Jane Heller

    So glad you “introduced” me to Edwin and vice versa, Barbara. I love writing to him and his friends, so this part is for him…

    Hi, Edwin. I’m doing fine, thanks. Here in California it always feels like spring, so I’m lucky. But I’m going to New York on Thursday to visit my mom and will be there over the weekend. I hope it’s not too cold. It’ll be fun to blog from her house. I’m not sure what day is Opening Day next year, but my favorite baseball month is April, because it’s the beginning of the season and I always have so much hope that the Yankees will win the World Series. My husband’s name is Michael, and my favorite cheesecake is chocolate. (I love anything chocolate.) Bye!

    So you’ve been enjoying my book, Kathleen? (I assume your name is Kathleen, as opposed to Arthur!) That’s great to hear. I hope you’ll get a kick out of the rest. So you think we should go after Lackey? I sure wish there was a SP with a personality I liked better. I hope Andy will come back, but I think Joba and Hughes will go into the rotation regardless. It’ll be very interesting to see what develops. Thanks for stopping by with such kind words about the blog. They’re much appreciated.

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