NEW YORK (WFAN) — If it’s massive spending you want, it’s massive spending you’ll likely get.
According to CBSSports.com and WFAN baseball insider Jon Heyman, the Yankees are lining up meetings with the agents of several of the biggest names on the free agent market for next week’s General Managers’ meetings.
Of particular importance is the fact that managing partner Hal Steinbrenner is said to be very involved in the proceedings, Heyman reported, likely meaning the Yankees, in their trademark way, are ready to begin to make amends for last season’s third-place finish in the AL East.
“Hal is very involved, and he wants to win,” someone familiar with the Yankees dealings told Heyman.
The Yankees have repeatedly said they want to get in under the $189 million salary cap threshold in 2014. According to a report issued by The Associated Press, they can spend approximately $80 million this offseason and still come in under that number. What’s more, if Alex Rodriguez’s 211-game suspension is upheld the Bombers will not be responsible for his massive tab and the overall amount they could spend could exceed $100 million.
So even if A-Rod’s suspension is overturned or he serves a shorter ban, the Yankees are still in position to get overly aggressive even by their standards. The Bombers had been giving their own players shorter contracts over the last few offseasons, but after not making the playoffs this past season, it appears the front office is very antsy.
That likely means, for starters, the Yankees will be one of a chosen few viable candidates for second baseman Robinson Cano’s services. The Bombers will also be keeping a close eye on outfielders Jacoby Ellsbury and Shin-Soo Choo, Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka and catcher Brian McCann, Heyman reported.
The Yankees are also believed to be interested in shortstop Stephen Drew and pitchers Matt Garza, Ubaldo Jimenez, Bronson Arroyo, Scott Feldman and Dan Haren.
Earlier this week the Yankees tendered qualifying offers to Cano, outfielder Curtis Granderson and right-hander Hiroki Kuroda, but considering what they are believed to be positioning themselves for, it may not matter if they lose all three.
“The Yankees have been very aggressive” showing interest, said agent Scott Boras, who represents Ellsbury, Choo and Drew.
The GM meetings begin Monday in Orlando, Fla., with club owners expected to file in Tuesday or Wednesday for their own meetings, Heyman reported.
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