The Yankees out righted pitcher Chad Gaudin to the minor leagues to free up a spot on the 40 man roster. Gaudin immediately opted for free agency. This is the first of a few relievers that will no longer be wearing pinstripes next season. . This year the Yankees only have five days to negotiate with their free agents exclusively before other teams can begin to negotiate as well. In the case of the Yankees these free agents are:
Lance Berkman 1B NYY
Derek Jeter SS NYY
Nick Johnson DH NYY
Austin Kearns OF NYY
Chad Moeller C NYY
Andy Pettitte SP NYY
Mariano Rivera RP NYY
Marcus Thames OF NYY
Javier Vazquez SP NYY
Kerry Wood RP NYY
Now the question is which of these players will they resign. I think it would be safe to say that agreements will be reached with Jeter and Rivera and If Pettitte doesn’t re-sign than he will retire but what about the others?
Berkman- Nope. Lance is to good a first baseman to except anything less than an everyday job. Mark Teixeira has that position locked up for a long time. I expect that Berkman will end up back in the National League, perhaps with the Astros.
Johnson- Nope. I think the Yankees learned that he just cant be trusted to stay healthy. I think he also will wind up back in the national league with a full time first baseman’s job. I think when Nick plays the field he stays healthier as he proved with his time in the Nationals Organization.
Austin Kerns- Nope. Kerns was a great rental but he also deserves a full time position and frankly there is no room in the Yankees outfield.
Chad Moeller- Nope. I don’t believe that the Yankees will make an offer to him by Sunday, but I’m not against him coming back on a minor league deal. He is not the greatest catcher around but his veteran presence would be a good thing down on the farm for Jesus Montero and Austin Romaine
Marcus Thames- Yes. I think Thames was a great addition to the ball club and is just what the Yankees ordered against lefties. He is a great forth outfielder with decent defensive skills and can share time at DH.
Javier Vazquez- NO WAY. A total bust in NY he will probably do well in the National league with a team that offers a lot less pressure. example. Pittsburg or Washington.
Kerry Wood- Yes. Wood was great and the Yankees would love to have him but I think that Wood would really want to be in NY for a deal to happen. I think that he would love to close somewhere and has the experience and mental make up that will make him in high demand. Im sure the Yankees will express interest and make a reasonable offer but he will be able to get much more in the open market than the Yankees will be willing to give. That is not to say that ultimately he doesn’t take a deal with the Yankees, but there is no way he wont test the open waters to see who wants him.