The much-hated New York Yankees have been unusually quiet this offseason. And there appears to be a good reason.
No, it’s not because they ran out of money. They are sitting back, waiting to spend their money on the right players.
One of those players could be Giants starter Matt Cain.
Matt Cain in Pinstripes? The thought might give Giants fans nightmares tonight.
NYT baseball writer Tyler Kepner speculates that the Yankees are hoping Cain and Phillies lefty Cole Hamels reach the free agent market following the upcoming campaign. Cain’s contract expires after this season.
The Yankees passed on C.J. Wilson and Yu Darvish, the top free agent pitchers this offseason, and Kepner believes it’s because the Yankees desire Cain or Hamels, both of whom are better than Wilson and Darvish.
The Yankees have a core of talented, young pitchers — Ivan Nova, Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances — whom they expect to make an impact this season. They afford to sit back, be patient, and go after the players they want, rather than make a knee-jerk reaction and sign players they don’t really want.
Cain is the type of durable, reliable pitcher the Yankees covet and he would be asked to slide into the No. 2 spot in the rotation, the same spot he occupies on the Giants. And they have a lot of big salaries coming off the payroll in 2014, freeing up the necessary funds to go after Cain or Hamels if they are available.
As for the Giants, all the talk this offseason has been centered around resigning Tim Lincecum, but Cain becomes free agent before Timmy. One has to wonder if their aggressive pursuit of Lincecum means that the Giants might be willing to let Cain go.
The 27-year-old Cain will make $15 million this season and will likely command a nine-figure mega deal on the open market. The Giants might be able to get him to take a hometown discount, but it most likely would have to happen before the season starts.