After the slumber of their quiet offseason, the Yankees are strongly considering adding payroll in a deal to bring in a starting pitcher via free agency or a trade, a baseball official with knowledge of the team’s thinking told ESPN New York.Adding payroll is fine, and it's something I thought they'd have to do if they wanted to improve. But I would have rather seen them come to this conclusion earlier in the offseason so they could have at least known this before 95% of the FA market was taken off the board.
The official said that with prices coming down as spring training approaches, the odds were “60-40” that the Yankees will become more aggressive and add to a roster that has been unchanged from last year’s club. A source predicted that things will heat up next week.
Nothing has changed regarding free agent targets, they're still eyeing Jackson & Kuroda:
Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner met with agent Scott Boras to discuss starter Edwin Jackson, but he is not the only free agent on the team’s radar. Hiroki Kuroda may turn out to be their top choice over Jackson. Roy Oswalt seems more unlikely, but can’t be completely ruled out.Marchand also mentioned and earlier Buster Olney report that said the Yanks were "quietly shopping Nick Swisher" and could deal the right fielder to free up some salary.
The key to any contract will be the length. The Yankees are looking to make a one-year deal. A source said that while Boras is no longer looking for five years for Jackson, he is still asking for a multi-year contract. If Boras doesn’t come down further, it seems highly unlikely the Yankees will sign Jackson.
A source termed a two-year offer unlikely, but didn’t completely rule it out. The Yankees will not go three years because they want to get beneath the $189 million luxury tax number by 2014. This would cut their payroll tax more than half, down to 17 percent, if they were able to do so.
Kuroda, who turns 37 next month, has been a pitcher the Yankees have had interest in dealing for, but he has been hesitant to leave Los Angeles. However, with the Dodgers not having room for him, he may be more open-minded about coming to the east coast. Kuroda may also return to Japan.