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Yankees have checked in on Max Scherzer; could make run at star free agent

The Yankees could break their silence and make a run at Max Scherzer this winter.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees have thus far been set on not breaking the bank this offseason, though they may be willing to make an exception for right-hander Max ScherzerAccording to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman, the Yankees and Scherzer's agent, Scott Boras, have had "brief contact", and the club could consider making a run at the prized free agent.

The Yankees have seemed intent on not pursuing any top-tier free agents this offseason outside of their own, and thus far, they have stuck to that mantra, re-signing Chris Young (the outfielder) and reportedly showing interest in bringing back Chris Capuano, Chase Headley, Brandon McCarthy, and David Robertson.

If the Yankees decide against going after Scherzer, and McCarthy signs elsewhere, Heyman mentions Jason Hammel, Francisco Liriano, and Edinson Volquez as possibilities, though Liriano seems unlikely since he comes attached to draft pick compensation.

Adding Scherzer would go a long way to solidifying a shaky Yankees rotation. Masahiro Tanaka, CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova, and Michael Pineda have all dealt with significant injuries within the past six months, and there is considerable risk associated with them. Scherzer would seemingly give the Yankees some certainty atop their rotation, and along with Tanaka, he could form one of the more potent one-two punches in the league.

The 30-year-old Scherzer is likely in line for a monstrous payday, and having already turned down a $144 million offer from the Tigers, he is probably looking for a deal in excess of $160 million. The 2013 AL Cy Young award winner has been among the best pitchers in baseball over the past few seasons. This year, he posted a 3.15 ERA, 2.85 FIP, 10.3 K/9, 2.6 BB/9, and 6.0 WAR in over 220 innings pitched.