True to his word, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman reached out to C.J. Wilson’s agent yesterday.King also mentions that the Yankees are monitoring Darvish, and are expected to take looks at Edwin Jackson, Mark Buehrle and Roy Oswalt. (Earlier this week, it was reported that the Yankees did not have any interest in Oswalt, but this wouldn't exactly be the first false rumor we've heard.
“I would describe it as routine,” Cashman said of his talk with Bob Garber, Wilson’s representative.
And since Cashman said this week that even after retaining CC Sabathia that starting pitching remains a priority, it figures that Garber and the Yankees will continue talking.
Despite his poor October, I am in favor of signing Wilson. The bottom line is that since moving to the starting rotation in 2010 he's been one of the better pitchers in the AL, and if you can add him as a no. 2 behind CC for a reasonable contract the Yankees should do it.
Darvish is the wild card in all of this.
“He’s the real deal,” says ex-Yankee Darrell Rasner, who has spent the last three years pitching against Darvish for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles in the Pacific League. “He’s the best pitcher there, in my opinion, and he’d do well in the States. He’s got a winning mentality.He also has apparently signed-on with Arn Tellem--Hideki Matsui's agent--to deal with MLB if he does decide to leave Japan.
“He seemed to toy with guys in Japan sometimes. When he needs to dial it up, he can really go after somebody with strikeout stuff. I’ve seen him add velocity late, get his fastball up to 96-plus (miles per hour) with guys in scoring position and strike out a couple of hitters.”
“The potential, it’s all there,” says Harold Reynolds, the former All-Star who is now an analyst for MLB Network and saw Darvish pitch in the WBC. “He can be a frontline starter and he’d have a lot of interest here.
“I’d be shocked if the Red Sox and the Yankees were not in it, particularly the Yankees,” Reynolds added. “You look at the Yankees, the state of their pitching. If he’s everything people say he is, and he lives up to it, he can be a dominating force in your rotation for five or six years.”
“I do think he’s coming,” said the executive, who has watched Darvish multiple times. “Because of the high-profile personnel that went there, and there’s not a lot of high-level pitching in this free-agent market. Maybe that encourages Darvish to make the move.”
But several baseball executives wondered if the Red Sox and Yankees’ struggles with recent Japanese imports — Daisuke Matsuzaka and Kei Igawa — might scare off some suitors. Neither pitcher now seems worth their price tags — $103 million for Matsuzaka, more than $46 million for Igawa.
...one [MLB exec] says, “He’s better than Matsuzaka. His body is unique and he added some good weight over the last year (about 20 pounds to get to about 200 pounds). The talent level is very high-end.