After re-signing Derek Jeter to a one-year, $12 million contract this afternoon, the New York Yankees seemed poised for a big splash this offseason. In addition to having interest in players like Robinson Cano, Carlos Beltran, Shin-Soo Choo and Brian McCann, the team is also internally discussing the possibility of signing Jacoby Ellsbury, Matt Garza and Stephen Drew, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.
Heyman reports that the Yankees are still considered the favorite to sign Cano, the top free agent on the market this winter.
There is still a sizable gap between Cano's demands and the Yankees' offer, so he is likely to explore other offers from teams like the Royals, Blue Jays, Rangers and Tigers this offseason.
If Cano signs elsewhere, the Yankees are almost guaranteed to focus their resources elsewhere in the free agent market.
New York's interest in Ellsbury and Choo is likely dependent on if they team re-signs Curtis Granderson, who is also a free agent this winter. Granderson has expressed interest in returning to the Bronx, but the team's reported interest in Choo and Ellsbury makes that possibility seem less possible. In addition to drawing interest from the Yankees, Choo and Ellsbury are expected to negotiate with teams like the Mets, Mariners, Reds and Cubs this offseason.
Garza is expected to demand a multi-year deal on the free agent market as one of the best available starting pitchers, and the Yankees could make a run due to the starters Hiroki Kuroda and Phil Hughes being eligible for free agency. If Kuroda signs elsewhere, the Yankees would seem to be in good position to make a major splash in the starting market.
With Jeter locked up at an expensive price, the Yankees look ready to move forward with him as their starting shortstop for the twentieth consecutive season. This, coupled with the fact that Drew will likely receive a $14.1 million qualifying offer from the Red Sox, puts the possibility of the shortstop signing with the Yankees in doubt. Drew will likely accept Boston's offer to return, as the average annual value of a potential contract on the open market for Drew would be significantly less than $14.1 million.