Sunday, October 6, 2013

Latest On Joe's Contract Talks

It's been a few days since the Yankees and Joe Girardi sat down for their first meeting regarding Joe's new contract.  It was reported that the team made Joe their first offer at that meeting, and while Joe didn't accept it, he and his agent did respond with some of the things they were looking for in a new deal.  A follow-up offer was expected shortly after from the team, and according to Joel Sherman's latest reports, the offer was supposed to come on Friday.

It hasn't been confirmed or denied from either side whether that happened, but I think it's safe to assume that at the very least some new figures were exchanged in the last day or so.  The Yankees have made it clear that bringing Joe back is a priority, evidenced both by their quick start in getting talks going with Joe and their refusal to allow other teams (Cubs, Nationals) to interview Joe while he's still under contract.  Sherman's guess was a deal somewhere in the 3-year/$13-16 million range and it wouldn't come as a surprise if a new contract in that range was announced early next week.

Could The Yanks Be Getting Back Into The International Free Agent Game?

The last time the Yankees took a plunge in the international free agent market, they ended up spending almost $50 million on Kei Igawa, the Droopy Dog-faced Japanese lefty who proved to be worth not even a single cent of that money.  Ever since that disaster, one in which the Yanks admitted they didn't even know what pitches Igawa threw, New York has spent the last few offseasons on the sidelines when it's come to the top international free agents, choosing to spend their money on more well-known MLB commodities.  In doing so they've missed out on guys like Yu Darvish and Yoenis Cespedes, high-ceiling talents who came with question marks and price tags that proved to be enough to scare the Yankee front office away.

With the team hanging perilously on the edge of a major decline, the roster looking old and beat up, and ownership putting a cap on the salary, this offseason might not be a bad time for the Yankees to tag themselves back into the international market and inject their franchise with some much-needed youth and excitement.  With the way they've tracked the 2 biggest names in this year's market, that could be exactly what they're planning to do.