The free agent market opened for business less than a week ago, so Yankees general manager Brian Cashman is just getting started in his search for a starting pitcher.
He got in touch with the agent for C.J. Wilson and Roy Oswalt over the weekend and contacted Mark Buehrle’s agent Jeff Berry earlier today. Buster Olney of ESPN.com writes Cashman is just doing his “due diligence” as he gets his lay of the free agent landscape, but he also mentions that it’s “highly unlikely” the Yankees will make a serious run at Buehrle.
Interesting. This is the Yankees we’re talking about, so it’s impossible to rule them out on any free agent, but it sure doesn’t sound like Buehrle will be hurting for offers this winter. The veteran left-hander met with the Marlins today and his agent hinted last week that he could prefer pitching in the National League. While they may get priced out due to the competition in a weak market for free agent starters, Chuck Garfien of CSNChicago.com notes that the White Sox remain in the mix, as well.
Buehrle, who turns 33 in March, went 13-9 with a 3.59 ERA over 31 starts this season. He has 11 straight seasons of at least 200 innings pitched.
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reported on Monday that the Angels have received inquiries from multiple teams concerning starter Hector Santiago. He adds that the club is willing to listen to offers. Jon Morosi of FOX Sports and MLB Network reports that the Marlins are among the teams that have inquired.
Santiago, 28, has pitched to a 4.32 ERA with 96 strikeouts and 47 walks in 110 1/3 innings. Sabermetric statistics such as FIP, xFIP, and SIERA think the lefty has pitched even worse than his ERA indicates however, pitting 2016 as his worst performance to date.
Santiago is earning $5 million this season and will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility going into 2017.
We also learned earlier that, in an effort to bolster their starting rotation, the Marlins have also shown interest in Wade Miley of the Mariners and Jeremy Hellickson of the Phillies.
The Rangers placed DH Prince Fielder on the disabled list last week due to more neck discomfort. On Friday, Fielder met with Dr. Drew Dossett, who performed spinal fusion surgery on Fielder in 2014 for a herniated disk in his neck. Dossett has recommended another procedure, so Fielder will undergo season-ending surgery this week, Jeff Wilson of the Fort-Worth Star Telegram reports.
Fielder was having a rough season, batting .212/.292/.334 with eight home runs and 44 RBI in 370 plate appearances. He played in only 42 games in 2014, but returned in 2015 looking more like his old self. Unfortunately, neck and back issues are notoriously difficult to fix. Hopefully, this upcoming procedure does the trick for Fielder.
Fielder is owed $24 million per season through 2020, with the Tigers paying $6 million of it per season.