Brian Cashman: we'll talk to our own guys first

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Brian Cashman, on how the Yankees will proceed in the free agent market:

“I don’t want to make the mistake of having a conversation with somebody else’s agent and it plays out as if I’m pursuing that guy, and somebody misinterprets it (and) that means I’m not pursuing our guy.  We’re not even at that stage yet. So I’m trying to be very careful and respectful to our players first, makes sure they’re aware of where they are in the process.”

But what happens when that somebody else’s agent — say Matt Holliday’s agent — is the same guy as “our guy’s” agent — Johnny Damon?  I’m imagining this conversation:

Cashman: Scott, we want to talk to our own people first, so I called you so we can discuss Damon.  I’ll give him $5 million on a one year deal.

Boras: That’s not gonna cut it, Brian. Damon is irreplaceable. He’s a gamer. He’s given his all to New York, and the fans want him back.

Cashman: He’s not irreplaceable, Scott. We could go out and sign Matt Holliday.

Boras: Good point! Screw Damon. Holliday is the second coming of Teixeira!

And there you have it: professional malpractice and “talking to someone else” in the space of thirty seconds. OK, maybe it’s not that blatant, but the lesson holds: don’t believe much of what you hear when it comes to agents OR general managers. Everything is negotiable and everything is being negotiated, always.

Still, as a general consideration, Cashman’s “talk to the someone elses later” is a smart move.  It’s way easier to let the teams with real budget constraints make their best offer to Matt Holliday and John Lackey and whoever else, and then come in late and beat the best offer by a couple of million.  If I was Cashman, I’d simply call every representative of any free agent out there and say “when you’ve got what you think is your best offer, call me. I’ll let you know whether I’ll beat it within two hours.”

If he does that it’ll be way easier for him to relax this winter.

The Giants are interested in Evan Longoria

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Bob Nightengale of USA Today says that the San Francisco Giants “have keen interest” in Rays third baseman Evan Longoria.

Longoria is coming off his worst season as a major leaguer, having hit .261/.313/.424 with 20 homers in 2017. He’s also still owed $86 million through 2022. Which, back when the deal was signed seemed like quite a bargain for the Rays — and likely has been over the duration of the contract — but now seems somewhat steep for the 32 year-old third baseman. That said, the Giants currently have Pablo Sandoval penciled in at third base on their depth chart, so Longoria would definitely be an upgrade, even if 2017’s dip wasn’t just a blip.

Nightengale says that for the Giants to take on Longoria, the Rays would have to take on a high salary veteran such as Denard Span or Hunter Pence. Span is owed $9 million in 2018, with a $4 million buyout on a $12 million option for 2019. Pence is owed $18.5 million in 2018 in the final year of his contract and has a full no-trade clause.

If he stays with the Rays, Longoria will achieve 10-5 rights — full no-trade protection due to being a ten-year veteran with five years of service on the same club — so if the Rays are going to move him, it’ll be much easier this offseason, not once the 2018 season begins.