Heyman: Yankees Contacting A Lot Of Free Agents

It’s public knowledge that the Yankees are targeting former Bronx Bombers Aroldis Chapman and Carlos Beltran. But it turns out they’ve contacted a who’s who list of top Major Leaguers as well.

I hope Yankees GM Brian Cashman has a great cell phone plan because Jon Heyman of the FanRag Sports Network says he’s making phone calls to almost every premier free agent available this offseason. Aside from Chapman and Beltran, Heyman writes Cashman has already contacted Kenley JansenEdwin EncarnacionJose BautistaMike NapoliDexter FowlerBrandon Moss and Matt Holliday, and are believed to have contacted starters Rich Hill and Jason Hammel.

It’s also public knowledge that he contacted slugger Yoenis Cespedes on more than one occasion but it was reported this week that signing Cespedes is not in the Yankees plans this offseason.

Basically, like any good general manager, Cashman is doing his due diligence. We shouldn’t be surprised to hear any of this and if anything, we should be glad. Quite frankly I’m pretty relieved to hear this after the team not signing one free agent last offseason.

Cashman is certainly in a prime position of roster flexibility with the retirements of high-priced sluggers Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez (even though the Yankees are responsible for paying

Rodriguez the remainder of his contract). He also was able to move $23M of the $34M Brian McCann’s remaining salary by trading him to Houston last week.

Out of the players Heyman reported that have been contacted, personally it’s not a list of guys I’d be completely behind seeing in pinstripes. At least not in this point and time in their careers. Bautista, Moss, Holliday, Hill and Hammel all seem to be on the decline. Bautista has the best chance to have a bounce back season in 2017 coming off an injury-prone year but I wouldn’t want Cashman to make that gamble. Last week I made a case for the Yankees to sign Hill because their rotation is in desperation of improvement. Like it or not, he’s the top free agent pitcher on the market.

Let’s be honest, the entire free agent class is rather underwhelming but there are a few gems that are out there. Between the top two closers I might prefer Jansen over Chapman. His cutter reminds me of the one we saw for nearly two decades from Mariano Rivera. However, the advantage Chapman presents is that he has had success in New York and not every player that comes to this city can live up to the pressure of this market.

Encarnacion, Beltran and Napoli all have life left in their bats and, if the Yanks are still cost conscious, Beltran would be their best option. If they want to make the true Yankee big splash, Encarnacion is their guy and if they want to meet somewhere in the middle, I’d gladly attend a party at Napoli’s in the Bronx.

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