Yankees unlikely to pursue Scherzer, Lester, Shields or Sandoval

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The Yankees have a reputation for going big in free agency. Last year they signed, like, a half billion worth of contracts. This year? Don’t count on it. At least don’t count on it if Bill Madden and Mark Feinsand of the Daily News are to be believed. The report that the team “has no plans to pursue” any of those big four targets, at least two or three of which many have suspected the Yankees will pursue.

Instead: they plan to go hard to sign Brandon McCarthy and Chase Headley. The Yankees traded for those two during the season. Each performed admirably in pinstripes, filling much needed slots in the Bronx and improving significantly compared to where there were with their previous teams. Both also make sense for 2015 and beyond, with the Yankees needing both a starting pitcher and a third baseman. Of course, the Yankees probably need more than one starting pitcher. Lester, specifically, would seem to be a great fit for Yankee Stadium.

Also probably worth remembering: the Yankees have a long and rich history of saying they aren’t interested in this or that player or that they have no plans to exceed this or that figure in their budget, only to go ahead and drop serious cash anyway. So take all of this with a grain of salt.

Giancarlo Stanton to make return from IL this week

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Per The Athletic’s Lindsey Adler, Yankees manager Aaron Boone said outfielder Giancarlo Stanton may be activated from the injured list on Wednesday. Stanton will “certainly” be activated on Thursday.

Stanton, 29, has appeared in all of nine games this season due to knee and calf injuries. The calf injury struck first during the opening week of the season. He wouldn’t return until June 18, then played in a whopping six games before a strained PCL in his right knee sent him back on the IL. But if there was ever a time for Stanton to make his triumphant return, it’s right before what the Yankees hope is a deep postseason run.

In the nine games Stanton has appeared in this season, spanning 38 trips to the plate, he has hit .290/.421/.419 with a double, a homer, seven RBI, and four runs scored.